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Death beliefs and practices from an Asian Indian American Hindu perspective

TitleDeath beliefs and practices from an Asian Indian American Hindu perspective
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGupta, R
JournalDeath StudDeath Stud
Volume35
Pagination244-66
Date PublishedMar
ISBN Number0748-1187 (Print)<br/>0748-1187 (Linking)
Accession Number24501845
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Attitude to Death/ ethnology, Bereavement, Ceremonial Behavior, Cultural Characteristics, Focus Groups, Hinduism, Humans, Intergenerational Relations, Middle Aged, Religion and Psychology, Spirituality, United States
AbstractThe purpose of this article was to explore Asian Indian American Hindu (AIAH) cultural views related to death and dying. Three focus group interviews were conducted with AIAH persons living in the southern region of United States. The focus group consisted of senior citizens, middle-aged adults, and young adults. Both open-ended and semistructured questions were asked to elicit discussions that would uncover the meanings respondents attribute to death, as well as their pre- and post-death practices. All the sessions were tape recorded. Two independent researchers examined the transcripts of the 3 sessions and generated common themes. The results of this qualitative study indicate that all 3 generations were believers in the afterlife and the karmic philosophy. However, they exhibited differences in the degree to which Hindu traditions surrounding death and bereavement have been influenced by the fact that they live in the United States. Implications for service providers are included.