Gerarchia, rituale e spazio sociale in India. Premessa a Estetica sociale della prossimità di Frank Heidemann


The purpose of this paper is to contextualise Prof. Heidemann’s interesting essay by explaining some fundamental concepts it contains, first of all the importance of proxemic behaviour in a highly hierarchic society such as India. Proxemics behaviour is codified in the sastras, the ancient Sanskrit treatises together with other non-verbal languages still used in the country today. Then the concepts of darshan, the act of seeing, as well as the concept of praasad, the gift of food offered to the deity and then shared among the worshippers, which constitute the most important aspects of puja, the act of worshipping, which by involving all the senses – hearing, touch, sight, smell and taste – represents a multisensory experience. Furthermore, the concepts of ritual purity and pollution inherent to the Indian system of social stratification that permeate the entire Hindu culture. Finally, the paper contains some background information on the Badagas, the Indian community on which Prof. Heidemann’s has conducted his research.

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.