Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sexist Nepali culture and custom

If we learn to understand Nepali culture no one can say that Nepali culture has been ruined by western culture because in our Nepalese culture 125 different caste/ethnic communities have their different traditional costumes that women wear.

We have sexist culture I would say because some communities in Tarai (low land of Nepal) wear this type of half naked upward and even while we women and girls take bath in public tap we wear in the same way, half naked. Similarly, we don't feel shame to feed our breast in a public openly without covering breast that we can see in most of the places in Nepal especially in rural settings =D but in modern urban places educated females feel shame thus they cover their breast while feeding or even don't prefer to feed. Likewise, we've sexist culture of "Kamasutra" that read by married men especially which is like a porn in the western world. BUT we blame to the western world for ruining our culture. What an ill mindset we have who always LOVE to play BLAME GAME. We love doing sex that is why prostitution business is considered one of the appealing oldest profession /business both India and Nepal promoted by rulers and elites since ancient time but consider taboo while talking about sex decently in a public places or even in a family. Similarly, we have nude, sexist and porn pictures and statues in temples and also worship Penis in vagina which is called "Shiva Linga" that means Lord Shiva's Penis. These all sounds hypocrites and double standard to me. BUT I love Nepalese indigenous diversified culture because it is naturally driven with spiritualism but ruined by organised superstitious religious rituals imposed by rulers.

In the mid and far western regions of Nepal we have sexist custom called "Chaupadi" a shelter in which girls and women are confined during menstrual period because they are forbidden to stay at home. This tradition is guided with the concept that is documented in the "law of manu" known as "Manusmriti" in which it says that women's should remain separate during menstrual period because it is considered impure and god will be angry with them if they touch men, kitchen and plants.

In one of the verses of Manusmriti it has written,
 "A woman is purified on a miscarriage in as many days and nights as months elapsed after conception, and a menstruating female becomes pure by bathing after the menstrual secretion has ceased to flow."- Manusmriti V

Women's natural physiological cycle process  related myths due to under developed mindsets of some ancient men.

Even female natural  menstrual cycle has been politicised corrupt scripture minded. This really annoys me how much control they exert in female's  body, mind and spirit due to their barbaric mindsets. 

On 2014, October 30, Pushpa Palanchoke, a student of ethnomusicology at Kathmandu University wrote an article titled "Menstruation myths" sharing her experience relating to the mythological beliefs and practices of this world. She writes 
I was 15 when I had my first menstruation. Since then, depression around religious occasions due to menstruation observation has haunted me. Even in the recent celebratory season, a large number of females like me were worried about their festival getting ruined because of their bleeding. Menstruation is just a natural process but it acts as a factor of exclusion for females.

Hindu mythology gives rationality behind the barriers set against women during their menstrual cycle. Srimad Bhagavatam has a story that women had to share the sin of a Brahmin’s murder at the hands of Indra in the form of menstruation every month. This makes women’s menstrual bleeding a sinful act. 

For years the Hindu community has believed that a woman becomes impure during menstruation and she should be kept away from offering anything to gods and should not touch anything to be offered to gods. This is not where the line of control ends—it extends to the kitchen. Women are compelled to eat separately. In some cases, they are given separate utensils to be used during the period. 

We even have a cruel custom of Chaupadi in Nepal in which women during their menstruation period need to stay in animal sheds. Even if it has been outlawed, Chaupadi continues. In many Indian societies, female artists do not practice art during their period for they deem art sacred and their menstruation a sin. Practices such as bali and sumba are few examples of indifferences towards women for their monthly menstruation. In bali women are supposed to not enter the kitchen, not sleep with husband or have sex, keep their clothes away from other members of the family and not enter the temple. Sumba is about keeping this period of month secret to everyone, making men see them as deceitful.

This is observed in Indonesian culture. There’s a similar practice in Japan.

Manusmriti, the oldest Hindu law, regards menstruating women as polluted. Even one ayat of the Koran mentions that menstruating women are polluted. Tantrism takes a less aggressive approach to menstruation by saying that all women during their menstrual period embody a functional vestige of Goddess Kali’s pre-cosmic creative cycles. Because of this, menstruating women are vessels of abundant prana. Their chakras are loose and they become spiritually more receptive, hence, are in vulnerable state. Purposefully, a woman is to be protected from gross masculine energy through amulets, rituals and isolation is a must. 

Sikhism does not condemn menstrual cycle. The Native American tribe, Cherokee, regards menstrual blood a source of feminine strength having the power to destroy enemies. 

Ancient Rome too held similar belief that during this period of month women are really powerful and have psychic abilities—if she is to walk around the field all the beetles would fall off the vegetation. Similarly in Africa menstrual blood is used in magical charm both for purifying and destroying things. 

Thousands of such menstrual myths are found around the world. In fact, menstruation and conception are exclusively female phenomena and men have ever been fascinated with them. The exotic bodily processes in women have inspired men to create myths. 

On first Saturday of the month of Kartik there was a satsang puja at my home. I was having my menstruation at that time. I felt no hesitation in entering the worship chamber and sing hymns along with other participants. Not only this, I also put tika and took prasad. I was glad to hear welcoming words from my own uncle and father. My mother was hesitant but she ultimately gave in. 

1. Mensutural myths by Pushpa Palanchoke"  

No comments:

Post a Comment