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    Abstract

    SOME HINDU OBSERVANCES.—In the Scientific Monthly for December, Dr. Elsie Clews Parsons records autobiographical reminiscences of Sotnesh Chandra Bose, a Bengali of the Kshattriya caste. His family are Kulin Kasyathas and his wife was Bal, a division of the Kasyathas for whom it was an honour to intermarry with the Boses, their superiors. His own immediate family was exceptional, in that its head, an “uncle,” was seventy-five years old and had not followed the usual custom of men of his age and resigned his authority to a younger brother or a son. All the names of the family had been given by this uncle instead of, as usual, suggestions having been offered by several of the family at the rice-giving ceremony. The rite of “beginning education” was performed at the age of five years by the familv Brahmin, who put the pen in the child's hand and guided him informing the letters. Although S. C. Bose was at first slow to learn, he developed a prodigious memory and an extraordinary mathematical capacity. In speaking of marriage he says that parents pay a good deal of attention to colour. They know that it is inherited, particularly if it is dark. The standards of beauty are figure, contour of face and colour. Parents may be put to a good deal of expense if a daughter is dark —an interesting commentary in practice on the colour theory of caste.

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