Namaskar and Nationalism

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Wed May 7 03:53:15 UTC 2003

As I was growing up in Pune, it was my distinct impression that the term namaskar was used as a greeting term mostly by Brahmins to each other.  After my father retired, he built a house in the village of Dhayari near Pune, where our house was surrounded mostly by non-Brahmin folks.  Their normal form of greeting was to say "raam raam".  During my own visits to this village, it often happened that I would say namaskar to someone and he would respond saying raam raam to me.  It is my general impression that the term namaskar became the common term in urban areas of Maharashtra, while raam raam still remains the common term in rural areas.  Best,

                                                                Madhav Deshpande

> ----------
> From:         Peter Friedlander
> Reply To:     Indology
> Sent:         Tuesday, May 6, 2003 10:23 PM
> To:   INDOLOGY at
> Subject:           Namaskar and Nationalism
> Dear List Members,
> I am doing some research on the development of Hindi greetings, and on the
> use of Namaskar.
> In particular I'm looking for references in early 20th century nationalist
> literature to the use of Namaskar as a national greeting, as prior to this
> it seems to have been a greeting only used by Brahmins, or to Brahmins by
> twice-born castes.
> has anybody ever seen anything on this?
> Dr Peter G. Friedlander
> Hindi Research Fellow
> Asian Studies Department
> La Trobe University, VIC 3086 Australia
> Tel: 61 3 9755 3048
> Fax: 61 3 9755 1880
> Email: p.friedlander at
> WWW:

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