by Chitragupt Pariwar (Hum Kayasth) on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 2:59pm
Kayasthas practice family exogamy and caste endogamy preferring to marry within specific sub-castes. The individuals of same AL (see a definition of AL above) cannot intermarry, while those of same caste and different ALs can. To illustrate, individuals from the Srivastava sub-caste and the Pandey AL do not marry another Pandey of the Srivastava sub-caste, but may marry individuals belonging to another AL of the Srivastava sub-caste.
Kayasthas are unique from other Hindu castes in their worship of an ancestor, Shree Chitraguptaji and the practice of Kalam-Dawaat Pooja, a ritual in which pens, papers and books are worshiped. Both these rituals are performed on the Yama Dwitiya, this is the day when Shree Chitraguptji was created by Lord Bramha and Yamaraj got relieved of His duties and used this leave to visit His sister Devi Yamuna; hence the whole world celebrates Bhaiya dooj on this day and the Kayastha celebrate ShreeChitraguptajayanti, i.e. the 'Birthday' of their progenitor. Kayasthas have the singular distinction of being the only "Ancestor-worshipping" sect of Hinduism.
Of all the other castes in India, Kayasthas are the easiest to mingle with other castes. They did this when the Muslims came to India, and modern examples of this are Kayasthas outside India where they mingle with other castes more than they mingle among themselves. This cosmopolitan outlook distinguishes members of this caste, and along with the great emphasis on education, is to a large extent responsible for their success in changing times.
Sense of humour
Kayastha are known for their sense of humour and wit. Whatever be the reason the Kayastha just can’t live without a good laugh. Many funny men and class clowns often turn out to be Kayasthas on closer examination. Others take their revenge, Kayastha are the subject of a series of jokes known as ‘Lalaji jokes’ in UP and Bihar. Unlike Punjab and NCR, the word "Lalaji" is exclusively used for the Kayasthas in UP and Bihar. The Lalaji is characterized with a sharp wit, ever hungry desire to grab and total abstinence from violence. The jokes usually feature other characters like gupta, pande, gajodhar. Often the crow, for whatever reasons, is also involved in such jokes.
Example: Lalaji falls in a ditch. Gupta was passing by and saw lalaji, said "Lalaji hath dijiye"(Give me your hand). Lalaji stood still. Then came Pande, said "Areey gupta, hath dijiye nahi hath lijiye bolo"(Don't tell him to give his hand, ask him to take yours).
Another: A Kayastha caught a crow and was about to bite its neck. The crow asked him 'whats your caste' thinking all the while that the Kayastha would have to open his mouth to say "Kaa_yasth". The Kayastha said 'lala'.