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India is a multi-religious country where people have faiths such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhist, Sikhism, and several more. For this assignment, Hinduism will be the primary focus as it is the most widespread religion in India. Hinduism is considered a combination of traditions that do not have set rules or theologies. If to identify the relevance of Hinduism regarding such health care issues as genital herpes or other sexually transmitted diseases, there is no right or wrong since no one usually raises any questions of why a person may get such a disease. Within Hindu practices, no specific interventions have been implemented to take into account religious issues when treating genital herpes. The majority of traditional practices are non-invasive and are targeted at the improvement of the overall well-being of patients.
Healing Beliefs and Practices
For the Indian population, STIs are pervasive health issues that require adequate management and prevention (Thappa & Sivaranjini, 2011). However, in Hinduism, no controversy occurs as to whether the diseases should be frowned upon; on the other hand, the way of life supported by the religion calls to act in favor of the affected individuals for eliminating the health problem.
It is also important to mention that Ayurvedic practitioners and healers are extremely popular within the Hindu culture, with hundreds of people undertaking spiritual journeys to visit healers that reside in remote and enclosed locations (Srivasta, 2016). Healers use naturally sourced ingredients to treat health issues of individuals who come to them in a search for solutions to their problems (Ekor, 2014). Hindu death traditions and practices are predominantly drawn from the Vedas and can vary based on personal preferences. Important traditions imply dying at home, family members singing mantras, the body is prepared at home, and later cremated (“Rites of transition: Hindu death rituals,” n.d.). As to specific death practices related to individuals who died from HIV or suffered from genital herpes. When caring for patients from this ethnic group, nurses can use the following strategies:
- Asking the patient and his/her family about their preferred practices of dying;
- Being respectful of the choices they make even if they do not align with the ‘right way’ of doing things.
When communicating with Indians, nurses should keep an arm’s length distance between themselves and patients. ‘Namaste’ greetings are preferred instead of handshakes and other greeting gestures; it is important not to touch someone’s head since it considered a sensitive part of the body. Indians usually follow universal rules when communicating with foreigners. When communicating with each other, they pay extra attention to their gestures, handshakes (men do not shake women’s hands), and body movements (moving the head in a “Western” way to indicate no means “yes). Two approaches that nurses can use include:
- Valuing personal space and avoiding displays of sudden emotion;
- Appreciating Indian customs and choosing traditional greetings over Western.
Indians prefer eating with their hands since food is regarded as pure and sacred (Vasudeva, 2017). Also, plates are usually made for sharing among multiple people. During celebrations, Indians eat such food as Madhu or barfi, which as sweets people give as gifts to each other. The favorite foods in India include Chicken Tikka Masala, Chole, Malai Kofta, Kaali Daal, Naan, and many others (Sarkar, 2017). No connections between hospitalization rates for HIV or genital herpes have been identified about food preferences in India. Strategies for encouraging healthy eating include:
- Exploring Indian food because it is predominantly healthy and plant-based;
- Asking patients about their food preferences and assessing their level of healthiness.
Ekor, M. (2014). The growing use of herbal medicines: Issues relating to adverse reactions and challenges in monitoring safety. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 4, 177-187.
Rites of transition: Hindu death rituals. (n.d.). Web.
Sarkar, P. (2017). The most popular Indian dishes and recipes. Web.
Srivasta, S. (2016). And what about traditional healers? Web.
Thappa, D. M., & Sivaranjini, R. (2011). Venereology in India. Indian Journal of Dermatology, 56(4), 363-367.
Vasudeva, S. (2017). Eating with your hands and other indican food traditions. Web.