We do not have much information about boys' activities in India like art, dance, music, parties, religion, school, and sports. We have just begun to address this topic. Here the British Raj and the growing middle class as a result of the economic reforms has played a major role in the activities pursued by children. There are activities based on both historic and Western traditions as well as many religious faiths. We do not know much about the arts in India, but there certainly is a rich tradition to draw from. A reader has sent us some information on outings to Indian parks. India is a very religious country and religion plays an importabt role in the lives of many children. We do have a school uniform section. Sports is a growing interest, especially among the Westernized middle class. Soccer is not as poular in Indias in most other countrues, but cricket is a major sport.
There are activities based on both historic and Western traditions as well as many religious faiths. Here the British Raj and the growing middle class as a result of the economic reforms has played a major role in the activities pursued by children. Economic reforms begun in the 1990s o shift India from statist (but not totalitarian) socialism to capitalist free enterprise has generated enormous economnic growth and a dramaztic expansion of the middle class. This has had a huge impact on children. More prosperous families do not have to make their children work. The children can thus go to school ans participate inm a wide range of activities.
We do not have much information about boys' activities in India like art, dance, and music. We have just begun to address this topic. We do not know much about the arts in India, but there certainly is a rich tradition to draw from.
We do not know a great deal about parties in India. W think that many are family parties associated with religious parties. We note Westernized middle-class families celebrating birthdays as is common in the West. We do not know if this was a traditionzl celedbration as well.
A reader has sent us some information on outings to Indian parks. Parks have made for popular outings for city childrem. European parks are primarily a 19th century phenomenon. We know much less about non-European countries like India. India has some beautiful parks which seem to have mixed princely-British origins. Many Indian orinces or maharajas had luxurious palaces and grounds.
India is a very religious country and religion plays an importabt role in the lives of many children. India has a fascinating religious history. Two of the world's great religions rose in India. The principal religion of India is Hinduism. Hinduism is a religion almost uniquely associated with India and neigboring Nepal as well as the East Indies (especially Java) where it was carried by Indian traders. For a range of historical reasons it has not spread to other countries. There are Hindus in other countries, but almost always restricted to Indian emmigrants. A more recent religion rising out of India is Budhism, but it was so effectively destroyed by Hindus, even before the Islamic invasions. that its origins were almost unkown even in the early 19th century. Islam entered India with the Mongol warriors in the 16th century. As in so many counties it was introduced by conquest. There are large numbers of Muslims in India, even after the partition that createrd Pakistan. While Muslims are a minority, India is in fact the world's most populace Muslim nation. The primitive people of India were animists, but much of this was incorporated into Hinduism and survives as a range of local traditions. There are small numbers of other religions. Europeans introduced Christianity to India.
India operates the second largest education system in America. The country has a population of more than 1 billion, and its universities turn out 260,000 graduates a year. Where are corporations are setting up their new manufacturing and electronics industry. We do not yet have detailed information on Indian schools. As best we can determine. the vast majority of schools in India, both public and private alike, do have a mandatory school uniform policy in grades 1-12. English uniforms have had an influence, but India has developed many uniqely national styles. English styles are particularly prominant at private schools. Uniforms are very bssic at many public schools. I am not sure how strictly uniforms are enforced in rural schools, but school uniforms appear to be strictly enforced in urban schools. We would be interested in any information that Indian readers could provide us.
Sports is a growing interest, especially among the Westernized middle class. Soccer is not as poular in Indias in most other countrues, but cricket is a major sport.
India is a huge country with many people living at the poverty level. Mny of these children hve to begin working at an early age. Socialist policies implemented at independence did little to improve the sitution of Indians and for several yeats the country had a moribund economy. The country implemented free market reform (1990s) which resulted in heady economic expansion. One notable impact was a substantial expansion of the middle class, families thast did no have to have the children work. A substantial poverty remains, but the country is finally making progress on that problem.
India is the second most populace country in the world. And unlike China does not have restrictions on free asociation, especially associtions for children. We do not yet have much information on Indian youth groups. We are hoping that one of our Indian readers will ptovide some backgrond information. The most important and best known youth movement in India is Scouting, both the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. This began with British boys in India, but Indian boys soon got interested as well. As in other countries, Scouting was a middle-class movement. The Indian middle-class as a result of free market reforms has grown substantially since the 1990s. We are not sure yey to what degree it has affected the Scouting movement. Indian Scouts continue to be drawn by its traditional and abiding values. A very small part of Indian boys participate in Scouting, still it is a sizeable movement. We suspect that the Christian-oriented Boys' Brigade is also active. Christianity is a small community in Ondia, but the country is so large that there is a substantial number of Christians available for the Brigade. We also suspect that the BJP has some kind od youth wing. And there is a school cadet program, also part of India's British heritage.
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