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L'hindouisme (document en anglais)

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Hinduism :

• Unlike most religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teaching

• Over 900 million adherents worldwide

• Oldest living religion in the world

• Polytheists; main gods: Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver), Shiva (destroyer) => all gods creates a single collective soul: Brahman.

• Cyclical life (eternal soul, when a body dies, they have a new one) Karma: actions that affect the next life; samsara : reincarnation.

• Believe that animals have souls too -> many Hindus are vegetarian/ vegan

• Hindu : derived from the river Sindhu, where Hinduism come from, but the term in itself doesn’t go back before the 15th century, in order to different themselves from other religions (mainly Muslims in Kashmir and Bengal)

• Best known holiday: Diwali, festival of lights. Extend on 5 days. Celebrate victory of good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance. Date set by Hindu calendar, usually in “our” October/ November

Politics in India:

• Modeled on British Parliamentary system: two houses and a prime minister chosen by the President.

• President (Rashtrapali) : - head of state

-commander in chief of the Armed Forces

- Ceremonial role

First president : Dr Rajendra Prasad (1950)

First female president: Pratibha Patil (2007)

Today’s president: Pranab Mukherjee (2012)

• Prime minister: -executive branch

-Being the leader of the victorious party by convention, the prime minister doesn’t have any limits imposed on the office.

First prime minister: Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-1964)

First female prime minister: Indira Gandhi, Nehru’s daughter (1964-1977)

today’s prime minister: Manmohan Singh (since 2004)


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