Foundations of Identity and Belonging

Belonging is not expressed in any specific way. One reason is that it has never been nor does it seek to be an exclusive community in any way. Jainism is founded on inclusivity and accepts difference as normal. It is up to the individual to express their belonging primarily through service, teaching or charity. In India, belonging may be different and is expressed in the followership of particular monks and nuns or alignment to certain clans. However in the urban areas, even these distinctions are breaking down and Jains are uniting through location, temples, beliefs and dedication to community upliftment.

Charity is one expression of belonging and there is social status given to the donors. Also as Jains generally are a very successful business community with integrity and respect, belonging to a Jain group can help with business and social networking among high quality entrepreneurs. Here there can be direct benefits from belonging and social status. The impact of this is much less in foreign countries where Jains have settled.

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