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Jāti

Jāti. The Hindu term for caste. Its origin has been connected to the varna classification, but whereas that was originally concerned with classification by occupation, jāti determines social status according to birth and lineage. Nevertheless, the two overlap, although the castes have now proliferated and no longer correspond to the original divisions. The protest of some modern Hindus against jāti has diminished its importance in urban areas, though everywhere it remains important in marriage. In the same way, although Gurū Nānak set himself against caste, it has persisted among Sikhs, particularly in relation to marriage.

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