This work examines the social reality of a Hindu woman's involvement in the transmission of religious knowledge. The two-year ethnographic study traces the steps of Dalit women in an urban village in New Delhi, India, in which Dr. Yim explores the mother's role in life cycle rituals, festivals, vrats (ritual fasts), and daily life. In this study, Yim attempts to bridge the gap between the word of religious texts and the reality of the women's lives. Despite the tradition of religious texts to overlook the role of women as teachers, this study found that women are the primary agents of religious knowledge transmission. The Dalit women in this study convey their erudition through informal education, such as observation; worship; imitation; and family responsibilities. The implications of this study are not only to validate informal education as an effective means of teaching, but to confirm the central role Hindu women have in the transmission of religious knowledge to their children.
Colleen Yim was born and raised in Portland, Michigan. She moved and lived in New Delhi, India from 1991-2005 and studied Hindi with the goal of working in education in India. She helped found the East West Educational Foundation, a non-governmental organization that provides language training for expatriate adults, and schooling for expatriate children of humanitarian workers. She has volunteered her time to start English language programs for under-privileged children in Delhi. She received her Ph.D. from Biola University, where she is currently an adjunct professor. She is also an intercultural education trainer and religious consultant with Interlink Management. She currently resides in Pasadena, CA., with her husband and three sons.
Chapter 1 The Women and Their Environment Chapter 2 The History of Women in Hinduism, Ritual Practices and Education Chapter 3 Transmission of Religious Knowledge: Who is Responsible Chapter 4 Religious Knowledge Transmission Through Ritual Chapter 5 Religious Transmission Through Festivals and Votive Rites Chapter 6 Knowledge Transmission Through Daily Life Chapter 7 Agents of Knowledge Transmission: Hindu Women