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What is the difference between hazing and ragging (India)?

QUESTION: I had a tough question from Shobna John in India to start my day.

Basically, the question is whether haing and ragging are the same.

That’s a good question and it made me think.

Here is a start. Feel free to jump into the discussion.

I can’t wait to save enough to study hazing in person in India and in the Philippines.
RESPONSE: One of my projects (in progress) is a book on hazing in the United States — 1873–1901.

Hazing THEN resembles ragging in some ways.  A group of older students
descends on the newcomer and ridicules, beats, inflicts pain, etc.
There were organized beatings over a class pennant–called battle
royals.  There are  initiation-like
rituals for new students in Canada also.

But one thing IS the same–a student whose only claim to superiority
is a year or two or three of schooling takes it upon himself to abuse
a newcomer.

Our collegiate hazing is mainly among athletes and fraternity members
now. It has morphed, you might say.

Schools used to support these antics, issuing new students demeaning
beanies–a tradition that goes back to Martin Luther at Wittenberg.

That was a GOOD question–Hank Nuwer

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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