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What is a varna?

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A varna is the Hindu word for "caste". In ancient India, social classes were split by the caste system, which included the highest varna, or caste, the Brahmin, the middle classes: Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, and the lowest caste, the Sudras. Other castes include much lower social classes such as the untouchables, which were people that had low jobs and gained their name because people would not touch them for they believed they would become sick since they handled mainly the dead. Slaves were the lowest caste, or varna. They did low jobs as well such as washing clothes or grazing animals.

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