Religion Fieldwork Project – Hinduism

Dear Writer,

I have a “Religion Fieldwork Project” and I did choose to write about Hinduism followed by the ensuing instructions:

1. The report will ask you to attend a ceremony you don’t need to do that. All I need is a report about a ceremony or a holly event about Hinduism that does match the following instruction.

2- If you could provide a location for the ceremony that you are going to write about I will be glad if not it’s totally okay

3- The interview at the end of this document has to be written as paragraph form no Answer-Question base.

Thank you



1. Choose a faith community to observe that is different from your own (if you belong to a faith community). This can be any place of worship or ceremony (e.g., church, synagogue, mosque, temple, pagan/wiccan community, Quaker meetinghouse, etc.) It can be a place where you know a member of the community or somewhere you have never been before. You may NOT observe a practice from your own religious denomination. If you are Christian, you are required to choose a non-Christian religion to study (for example, if you are Baptist, you cannot choose Catholicism since it is another Christian religion). You can search for locations by checking the internet or calling to find schedules for weekly services at the place you choose.

*Please note: You may not choose Scientology for this project.

2. Plan to attend 1 service or ceremony (weekly worship service, marriage, baptism, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, etc.) held at the place of worship. You can attend with someone you know, or you can choose to call ahead to let the congregation know about your assignment (recommended!) or find out the schedule and go to the service. When you arrive, be prepared to introduce yourself as a USF student completing an assignment on religion for an anthropology course. Be respectful and courteous and dress appropriately (avoid jeans, shorts, etc. that could be offensive in some places.

3. Observe what is happening in as much detail as possible. Some things to look for are the arrangement of the physical space and seating, the architecture and decoration, the kinds of activities taking place, the kind of people who are there (age, ethnicity, social class, gender, etc.), people’s verbal and non—verbal behaviors, and other manifestations of religious and cultural organization. Look for patterns. Where appropriate, talk to people there and let them know about your assignment and ask further questions or solicit an interview for the extra credit option explained below. On the same day you do the observation (very important!), write up your notes on your own behavior, feelings, and reactions, and findings (what you learned about the community and the faith traditions practiced there). It may not be appropriate to take notes during the service but be sure to do it immediately after you leave when you can recall the most details.

4. Based on all your observations and information gathered during your visit, use your notes to write up your Fieldwork Report. The report should be approx. 2-3 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 12-point font with 1-inch margins. Include the following details:

-Brief description of where you went, when you were there, and why you selected that site. Include details such as the architecture, design and decor of the building, the types of people present (demographic observations on gender, age, ethnicity), the religious practitioner(s) present to lead the event, the content of the service/ceremony and the participation of the worshippers.

-A synthesis of your observations (notes), including patterns you identified and your own reactions. This should include your own analysis of what you observed, and thought was occurring during the service/ceremony.

-Your first impressions about the kinds of ideas and cultural values that you think are reflected in the patterns of behavior you identify.

-Any remaining questions you may have or information you feel you may be missing in order to understand the location and events you observed.

Interview a Member of the Faith Community Observed

You may choose to interview someone who participates in the religious/faith community that you are studying for this project. This might be someone you meet during your observation or someone in your family, neighborhood, workplace, university or other setting. Set aside at least 1 hour to speak with the person. Before the interview, draft a list of questions you plan to ask and bring with you.

Sample questions:

-How long have you been a member of this community?

-What motivated you to join the community?

-How often do you attend services/ceremonies with your community and where do you go?

-What are some of the main beliefs in your tradition?

-What are some of the main ceremonies in your tradition?

-What are some key symbols that are important to your faith?

-Why is your religion important to you?

-What would you like other people to know about it?

-Is there anything you have struggled with in your religion?

-Is your faith community experiencing any problems, changes, or conflicts? If so, please explain.

*Feel free to make up other questions on your own that interest you about the person or their tradition.

*During the interview, use your questions as a guide but feel free to add additional ones as the conversation unfolds. Take written notes during the interview and add more notes on your own thoughts and observations about the interview immediately after you finish (the longer you wait the less you will be able to recall accurately). Include a section of your final fieldwork report in which you present the results of your interview and label with a new heading. This section should be a minimum of 1 additional page (thus your final report with the interview will be 3-4 pgs. total).

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