Page:Malabari, Behramji M. - Gujarat and the Gujaratis (1882).djvu/11

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PREFACE.

The page of the social and domestic life of the people of India is almost unread by Europeans. There are many reasons for this. First, there is the difference of language. Very few Englishmen have sufficient knowledge of any Indian language to converse with Indians with ease and fluency. Then, there is the deficient education and seclusion of Indian women, which cuts them off from social intercourse with English men, and renders their meeting with English women productive of very meagre results. Gravest of all, as a bar to free intercourse, is religious prejudice. This operates even where friendship exists between Englishmen and Indians. Over every avenue to real cordiality, the Hindu and Muhammadan have written up: "Yes. To smell pork! To eat of the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into. I