Titled “Sensing Hinduism: Lucian-Indian Funeral Feast as Glocalized Ritual,” the paper relates Dr. Manian’s observations from a funerary feast she attended while in St. Lucia for research. One person she interviewed for the research invited her to attend the feast which was held in honor of a person who had recently died. Based on those observations, additional research, and narratives from interviews with St. Lucians, the paper identifies connections between the current tradition and the Hindu religion.
About 5,000 – 6,000 residents of St. Lucia are descendants of people from India who came to the Caribbean as indentured servants starting in the 1850s, according to the paper. Although the people performing the funerary feast identified as Christians, the tradition retained several aspects of Hinduism as well as local innovations. “The feast ceremony is informed by Hinduism but has been thoroughly blended with the local,” the paper says.
The full paper can be read at http://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/7/1/8. The paper was co-authored with Dr. Brad Bullock, a sociology professor at Randolph College.
Dr. Manian recently was named an Outstanding Faculty Award winner by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.