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View Full Version : Question about the movie The Namesake (spoiler) AND HINDU CUSTOMS?



extarbags
03-31-2007, 07:45 PM
Why does Gogol shave his head after his father dies? Is this an Indian/Hindu custom? If so, I haven't yet been able to find anything about it, but it seems like a not bad one.

Edit: How the shit did this end up in P&R? Pretend this was framed as a thread about Hindu (a religion!) customs, then.

DrDel
03-31-2007, 09:29 PM
Dude, it is obvious.

Gogal got headlice. They don't sell Nix in India so he had to shave his head.

Dirt
04-01-2007, 12:27 AM
Hindi.

extarbags
04-01-2007, 01:39 AM
Hindi.

Not really, mate. Hindi (http://www.answers.com/hindi&r=67) is a language. Hindu (http://www.answers.com/hindu&r=67) refers to practitioners of Hinduism or, as an adjective, that which relates to their culture. Please do consult a dictionary before attempting a wicked burn in the future.

Orinoco
04-01-2007, 06:24 AM
There are lots of things that the family does when a relative dies. I don't know many though as I grew up in the west (UK and now US).

I think it's the eldest son that shaves his head, but I'm not sure though. When my father died, I didn't have to shave my head and I don't remember my elder brother doing so. However, we're not a very religious family. I do remember other things though, like we couldn't cook anything in the house between him dying and his funeral (relatives brought food everyday). There were prayer sessions every day with literally 30-40 people in the house (I had to escape to the pub for a while). Also, my poor neice was not allowed to come to the funeral, because she had her period, which I know still upsets her to some degree.

By the way, to build on 'bags point, the 'native' name for India is Hindustan (land of the Hindu's), but anyone who follows the religion is also a Hindu. Hindi is a language, and not the only one - I can just about get by in it, but an more fluent in my native state language.

extarbags
04-01-2007, 11:35 AM
I think it's the eldest son that shaves his head, but I'm not sure though. When my father died, I didn't have to shave my head and I don't remember my elder brother doing so.

That's close enough for me. I just wanted to know for sure that it was something done when one's father dies, not something he did just because he saw his father do it once.

I actually really like the symbolism of this. I think I'm going to borrow it when the time comes.

Orinoco
04-02-2007, 04:13 PM
From here: http://www.ifishoulddie.co.uk/religious_traditions.php


For Hindus, death represents the transition of the soul from one embodiment to the next and is the means by which the spirit can ascend its journey towards Heaven or Nirvana.
Hindus believe in reincarnation and a Hindu funeral should be as much a celebration as a remembrance service.
Hindus cremate their dead and the burning of the dead body signifies the release of the spirit. The flames themselves are important as they represent the presence of the god Brahma, the creator.
The vast majority of Hindus come from the Indian continent and it is often an area of regret that a loved one has died far away from their homeland and its traditions.
As with all religions, ritual plays an important part. Ideally a Hindu should die while lying on the floor, in contact with the earth. Family members will perform prayers and although touching the corpse is considered polluting, many mourners will need to do so to say farewell.
White is the traditional colour and mourners will usually wear traditional Indian garments. If you are attending the funeral of a Hindu friend, it may be as well to ask what is appropriate to wear.
Prayers are usually said at the entrance to the crematorium and may be offered en-route. Offerings such as flowers or sweetmeats may also be passed around and noise is also part of Hindu rituals, which may include horns and bells.
The chief mourner, usually the eldest son or eldest male in the family represents the whole family in saying goodbye to the deceased. They and sometimes all the male members may shave their heads as a mark of respect.
Scriptures are read and then the chief mourner will push the button to make the coffin disappear, as well as going below to ignite the cremator
After the cremation, the family may come together for a meal and prayers and begin a period 13 days mourning, when friends will visit and offer condolence.

Rimbo
04-02-2007, 04:30 PM
I thought the main point of him shaving his head was that he remembered his father doing it when his grandfather died. I'd go as far as to say that he himself didn't know or understand the customs he was going through, since he'd spent his life rejecting them in favor of what he grew up with.

By the way, on the topic of this movie... does anyone else get the feeling that if you've seen one Mira Nair film, you've pretty much seen them all? But if you gotta see one, go see Kama Sutra, as it has a hot lesbian scene. (And this isn't even counting the one with all of the girl students practicing kissing each other.)

Flowers
04-02-2007, 05:40 PM
If giving your kid someone's last name as a first name is all romantic and grandly sophisticated and meaningful, then I have some apologizing to do to the Hunters, Walkers, Austins, and Jeffersons of the world.

But I don't.

extarbags
04-02-2007, 08:48 PM
By the way, on the topic of this movie... does anyone else get the feeling that if you've seen one Mira Nair film, you've pretty much seen them all? But if you gotta see one, go see Kama Sutra, as it has a hot lesbian scene. (And this isn't even counting the one with all of the girl students practicing kissing each other.)

Wow, I never would have guessed it was the same director, because I quite liked this movie and thought Kama Sutra was a piece of shite. Also she apparently directed Vanity Fair, which sucked but wasn't as bad as Kama Sutra. So I guess I strongly disagree.