Shudra

From Academic Kids

Shudra, or Sudra, is the fourth caste, or varna, in the traditional four-caste division among Indian castes. Shudra caste often had traditional roles providing menial labor, which was not necessarily unclean. These four castes are Brahmin (priestly or learned caste), Kshatriya (warrior caste), Vaisya (businessmen and tradesmen), and Shudra (Laborers and workforce). Varna literally means "color", implicitly recognizing that lower-caste people's aura is of a darker color. However, this has also been associated in the past with physical complexion or skin colour. Some proponents of Aryan Invasion Theory attribute this to the relatively lighter complexion of the Aryans in comparison to the Dravidians that had originally inhabited the Indus River Valley civilisation, and are traditionally the descendents of the lower castes of Hindu society.

The Shudra title, like the other three, is more of a classification than an actual caste. An Indian caste is often a mixture of several factors. This includes a faith tradition relatively particular to the caste, certain social customs particular to the caste, and often a specific traditional role in village life due to variations in occupations and multitheism in the hindu religion. For instance, Shudras may be barbers or blacksmiths. The specific role often has little relevance to modern life, especially in city life.

See also

Hinduism, Varnas, Caste, Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya


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