Why write about ethnic groups and what are they ? RRS makes his observations here - There might have been a point in time when there was a common human strain with similar beings spread out across various parts of the globe - I use the term "common human strain" to imply that human beings all over the world might have had more or less the same anatomical structure , body parts etc with minor variations - Undoubtedly there would have been a point or perhaps several points in time when the earth was visited by extra terrestials of different types - Their mating with the "locals" has resulted in a variety of cross breeds which accounts for what we have today as "racial" differences - While civilisation and the structure of society in general has brought about a fairly high degree of co-operation among different races , there is still the deep rooted feeling of racial pride which often translates into nasty concepts of superiority and inferiority - Within races there are so many sub-divisions and India is notorious in this respect with its traditional concept of the caste system - The remarkable point is that while the original concept of the caste system had just four divisions based on birth and traditional occupation , over the centuries it has resulted in so many sub divisions to cross over thousands - Moreover, it is not just that the so-called caste number one looks down upon others - It is also quite remarkable that say caste number 22A looks down upon caste number 23B and so forth - The ritualistic side of these groups is often carried to ridiculous extents - "How many times do you sprinkle water around your head , only thrice? Well , we are a lot better as we do it at least five times !!! - However there is a certain flavour to these things in the sense of customs followed , history of their migration through various parts of what was India in the past and I have tabled below my personal impressions of a few groups from India as also whatever authentic information I could collect from my close friends belonging to these groups - About the Vadamal or Smarthas About the Chettiars About the Gounders About the Nadars or Shanars ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Only concerned relatives of Raja Ravi Sekhar and Kalpana Ravi with login name and password may proceed further -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------` 1.Click here if you are related to Ganapathi Santha Iyer 2.Click here if you are related to R.Singarayar 3.Click here if you are related to Syamala Ramu 4.Click here if you are related to N.Ramu -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------