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Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies
ISBN : 8170209277
Volumes : Set in 2 Volumes
Pages : 742 pp
Year of Publishing : 1999
Binding : Hardbound
Publisher : Cosmo Publications
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In summing up his own opinion of Abbé Dubois’ work Lord William Bentinck remarked “The result of my own observation during my residence in India is that the Europeans generally know little or nothing of the customs and manners of the Hindus. We are all acquainted with some prominent marks and facts, but their manner of thinking, their domestic habits and ceremonies, in which circumstances a knowledge of the people consists, is, I fear, in great part wanting to us. We understand very imperfectly their language. I have personally found the want of a work to which reference could be made for a just description of the native opinions and manners. I am of opinion that the information which the work of Abbé Dubois has to impart might be of the greatest benefit.
As to the intrinsic values of the Abbé’s work, there is no hesitation in saying that it is as valuable today as ever it was, even more valuable in some respects. It is true that a mass of learned literature on the religious and civil life of the Hindus has accumulated since the Abbé’s days, and it is still accumulating, but the fact is that the Abbé’s work composed as it was in the midst of the people themselves, is of a unique character, for it combines, as no other work on the Hindus combines, a recital of the broad facts of Hindu religion and Hindu sociology with many masterly descriptions, at once comprehensive and minute, of the vie intime of the people among whom he lived for so many years.
What may be regarded as still more satisfactory, perhaps, is that by the Indian themselves the work has been accepted with universal approval and eulogy. The general accuracy of the Abbé’s observations has no where been impunged; and every Indian critic of the work has paid a warm tribute to the Abbé’s industry, zeal and impartiality. The Hindu in a course of long review of the book remarked that ““it is impossible to run through the immense variety of topics touched in this exceedingly interesting book; but we entirely agree with Mr. Beauchamp’s opinion that the book is as valuable today as it ever was. It contains a valuable collection of information on a variety of Hindu Subjects.”.