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THE WORLD CIVILIZATIONS AND INDIA , PART-97

VIETNAM ( SERIES -15 )

PEOPLE , SOCIETY AND CULTURE OF CHAMPA

CHAMPA was formed in about 192 AD . It was during the break up of the HAN DYNASTY of CHINA that the HAN official in charge of the region established his own kingdom around the area of the present day city of HUE . Initially the area was inhibited mainly by wild tribes . They involved in incessant struggles with the CHINESE colonies in TONKIN . Later on they came under INDIAN cultural influence and decentralized their country into four regions all named after INDIAN name of places . They were : 1. AMARAVATI ( QUANG NAM ) ; 2. VIJAYA ( BINH DINH ) ; 3. KAUTHARA ( NHA TRANG ) ; and 4. PANDURANGA ( PHAN RANG ) . They were all concentrated along small coastal enclaves . Though historians and anthropologists vary on the question of races of ancient CHAMPA , yet most of them are of the opinion that the CHAM and KIRATA people were the ancient inhabitants of CHAMPA . About CHAM , a CHINESE writer has written that they were of black colour having deep eyes and thick hair . They used to wear LUNGI in the loin and no upper garment at all . Common men remained ware foot and rich people used to wear leather shoes . Both — men and women used to shape their hair . They used to wear earrings in their ears . In the fifth century another CHINESE writer has written that in one part CHAM people used to walk ware foot , wore earrings in their ears and boys and girls used to roam naked without any hesitation as such . In scorching heat of summer season they never used to cover their body and roaming in the sun heat . That’s why their colour became black and they used to consider it as a gift of the nature . According to SCHUMIDT , the people of similar race that of the MUNDA tribes found in the CENTRAL INDIA and CHHOTA NAGPUR resions inhibited in the entire INDOCHINA and in the Island of South-East ASIA . They came there through the INDIAN states like ASSAM and MANIPUR .

SOCIETY OF CHAMPA

R.C. MAJUMDAR , a historian from INDIA in his book CHAMPA , has written that like INDIA the society of CHAMPA/ANNAM was divided into four VARNA i.e BRAHMIN , KSHATRIYA , VAISYA and SHUDRA . BRAHMIN were respected in the society and killing of BRAHMIN was considered as very bad . GOTRA and VANSA were considered during the time of marriage . Marriage were performed by BRAHMINS . It was celebrated like a religious ceremony . Like in INDIA , SATI System was prevailing in the society . It was a traditionally accepted System in which wife had to be self-immolated on the pyre of her dead husband . Like INDIAN HINDU months , the year started with the month of CHAITRA . Like INDIA the month started with new moรฒn . Similarly like HINDUS , dead body was immolated/burnt in fire . Almost all Inscriptions in CHAMPA were written in SANSKRIT language . But somewhere they were written in local CHAM language also . People of higher class used to study SANSKRIT . King BHADRAVARMAN had knowledge of all the four VEDAS . King INDRAVARMAN-III had perfect knowledge of the INDIAN PHILOSOPHY . Similarly , King JAYA INDRAVARMAN DEV VII had knowledge of the VYAKARNA ( GRAMMAR ) OF PANINI , the INDIAN ASTROLOGY and MAHAYANA BUDDHISM . Indian Epics like RAMAYANA AND MAHABHARATAS were also read รฌn CHAMPA/ANNAM . Name of SRI RAM , SRI KRISHNA , LORD VISHNU and LORD SHIVA could be found in the Inscriptions of CHAMPA . Temple of BHAGAVATI PO NAGAR could be seen as an impact of INDIAN culture on CHAMPA . Of course , somewhere traces of CHINESE culture could also be observed . But ancient CHAMPA was mostly under influence of the INDIAN culture .

SEAFARING CULTURE OF CHAMPA

The CHAMS had a seafaring culture due to their coastal location . They controlled the trade in spices and silk between CHINA , INDIA , INDONESIA and PERSIA . They were highly cosmopolitan people . And that culture was heavily influenced by HINDU beliefs adopted from INDIA . It helped in establishing and maintaining a vast system of lucrative trade networks across the region connecting the INDIAN Ocean and Eastern ASIA . CHAM people also developed the first and oldest native South-East ASIAN language . It was being written down around 350 AD , predating first KHMER , MON , MALAY texts by centuries as such . The kingdom of CHAMPA had multiethnic population . It consisted of AUSTRONESIAN CHAMIC-Speaking people which constituted majority of its demography . On the other hand HINDUISM , adopted through conquest and conflicts from neighbouring FUNAN in the fourth century AD , shaped the art and culture of CHAMPA for centuries . Reflection of which could be seen in CHAM HINDU statues and red bricks temples . A former religious centre MY SON and a CHAMPA main port city HOI AN are now world heritage city . Many CHAM people adhered to ISLAM in the tenth century through conversion . However , the ruling Dynasty adopted the faith in the seventeenth century . Such converted people were called BANI ( NI TUC ) . There are , however , the BECAM ( CHIEM TAC ) who still follow and preserve the HINDU faith and beliefs . They follow HINDU rituals and festivals . The BECAM is one of the two surviving non-indic indigenous HINDU people in the world . The other is the BALINESE HINDUISM of BALI of INDONESIA .

NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .

TO BE CONTINUED …………………..

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Published by arbind kumar

I had been a researcher. Presently in service.

24 thoughts on “THE WORLD CIVILIZATIONS AND INDIA , PART-97

      1. You please write leisurely without thinking about the future . Develop power of immigration and things would be at your feet . I am a retired man from the government . But still I think I would be able to write for more than ten years or so if no other obstacles coming on my way . Thanks !

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  1. Use of Spices in Ancient India has been one of the important parts of Indian cooking. It indicates not only the types of spices used but also their cultivation in India. As the society was largely agrarian it cultivated a large variety of spices. Along with popular spices like cardamom, it also cultivated some specific spices in the form of seeds. Indian spices formed a major part of spice trade along with rest of the world. These highlight the popularity of Indian spices all over the world.
    https://www.indianetzone.com/52/use_spices_ancient_india.htm

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