Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gravedigging: a Burden and an Honor

I remember taking Global History back in high school. It was one of those courses that were split into two years--so the first year, we learned about pre-history up to Japanese isolation after Imperialism. It was a very broad spectrum of material to cover, but I remember that most of the interesting stories came from my global history classes (the tradition of sati, the Rosetta Stone, Caesar's assassination, the feudal system...all that good stuff). When doing our unit on India, one of the things we learned about was the caste system, and how the untouchables were at the bottom. The untouchables got the jobs that were considered beneath the upper castes...such as gravedigging. It's not a glorious job, but someone has to do it.