Maharashtra till recently had puberty rituals at an austere level, similar rituals but restricted only to women, a four day ritual. Seetha is thirteen. Bheemakka, who doesn’t have a surname because she doesn’t know who her father is, went through the puberty ritual in March, but she wasn’t sold. The Misconceptions Around Menstruation And The Internet, I Had A Period Stain On My Kurta And Made The Mistake Of Taking The Metro. Mostly, the gifts are similar to the gifts of any bride. Somewhere else many, many kilometres away from Seetha’s home, there is another scene that unfolds. The author is a part of the current batch of the #PeriodParGyan Writer’s Training Program, Demand Action Against Caste-Based Discrimination. “Shh!” her Mom hushes her up as she tugs her by her arm, into the corner-most room of the house. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Compared to earlier days, it has undergone a significant change. On the 7th, 9th or the 16th day, as decided, her aunts will give her a bath, followed by a haldi (Turmeric) ceremony in which both men and women participate. They were dedicated to the Hindu deity Yellamma as children and sold off after hitting puberty. She will sit, sleep and eat on this mat alone. Most northern states of India, from Kashmir to West Bengal, my own state Bihar, the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab – none of them have puberty rituals, though menstruating women are discriminated against. Yes, I’m A Stay At Home Wife With No Kids, But A Freeloader? In other words, a woman is considered to be the one who would take forward the lineage of the family. It is we who make him Alpa Maanava or Little Human by putting various constrictions of borders rituals and castes. She latches the door from inside, with a dramatic air. That gives you the much needed rest! This ceremony of Saddangu (Tamil Nadu), Aashirvada (Karnataka) or Tuloni Biyah (Assam) lets the community know, she is ready for marriage. The 11-year-old’s mother and grandmother are both devadasis, which means female servants of god. Restrictions or relief? Why the ritual? To some extent, it was also prevalent among other caste groups of Kerala, although the duration and the way it was performed varied/varies within the communities. Jaya Gomathi Mirra R . Think Again! Dear readers, you be the judge – don’t just take her words at face value! “Oh but the ritual, I am looking forward to it. Compared to earlier days, it has undergone a significant change. 13 Puberty Rituals Around The World That Range From The Quaint To The Morbid. These questions have been opened up today. A small community in India, the Vohra Muslims, have a coming of age ceremony, at 16 for girls and at 17 for boys. At thirteen and a half, she is petrified. Young women in some parts of Karnataka traditionally wear the Langa davani after puberty. Besides, the celebration fails to fight the taboo attached to periods. Over a period of time, the ceremony has become the thing of the past. It could be cancer, she thinks, with a sense of urgency. Thirandukalyanam (തിരണ്ടുകല്യാണം) is the name of the ceremony that celebrates a girl attaining puberty. Despite living in neighbourly harmony for over 12 years. It is the critical period of biological and psychosocial changes. The word Veda is derived from the root ‘Vid-Jnane’ (to know), hence it is rightly called as “Sarvajnanamayo hi sah”. (cracking skull is performed for prosperity in weddings and puberty rituals in Sri Lanka) In puberty rituals of Govi people the girl is bathed by a female of this caste and for their performance they were compensated through money, food, and also with the dress and jewelry given to her at that time. Neither it is celebrated with grand festivities nor by a lot of people in Kerala. The draft - The Karnataka Prevention of Superstitions Practices Bill, 2013 - will be tabled in this monsoon session. WhatsApp. They will apply haldi-neem paste on her face and hands – a cleansing agent! Imprint New York : Peter Lang, c2011. In the larger scheme of things, this tradition of puberty rituals is under scrutiny today. PDF | This article has been produced as a part of Ph.D. thesis entitled | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate He plays an important role, as in many of these communities, he is considered the first in line to wed her! An oil lamp would be lit in the chamber, in front of which a bunch of coconut flowers would be placed inside a bronze vessel filled with water. One country, two cultures, exact opposites! It is a ceremony to announce a girl has hit puberty. The girl, after her thirandukalayam ceremony, was considered to be eligible for marriage. I remember inquiring my mother around the ceremony, but she found it absurd to celebrate. To some extent, it was also prevalent among other caste groups of Kerala, although the duration and the way it was performed varied/varies within the communities. They lack adequate knowledge about the physical changes during the pubertal period and which in turn leads to undue anxiety. The context of girls’ education in Karnataka. Puberty. Anju has no idea why she has red spotting in her panty. Her mother’s face is contorted with shame, her words curt and precise, coming from another realm. Respected Saasu Maa Ji, May I Please Go And Pee Now? Women are still considered “impure” or “polluted” during her time of periods during the ceremony too. It is said, a lot of people in the past used to put all their savings for the ceremony. So of course, he has to know of her fertility first! “You will need this, you have periods,” Mom whispers even behind closed doors. I grew up in a South Indian household, I have not been to any, nor did I have this ceremony for myself. I did not know that my Telugu speaking neighbour, from Andhra Pradesh, celebrates puberty rituals. It reaffirms the old age myth that the assigned sex determines the gender of the person. Kerala Actor Rajini Chandy’s Glam Photoshoot Was ‘Too Sexy’ For Sexist & Ageist Trolls. I can’t wait for that lavish banquet. Traditionally girls in this district in south India undergo an 11-day purification ceremony following the onset of menstruation. puberty rituals, culminating into a lavish feast. un… Number of days is a choice by custom or practicability. Facebook. Our goal is to help women learn and grow! Series American university studies. Not my Kannadiga friend, she feels it’s an invasion of privacy. Earlier, this ceremony was practised to a great extent by the Nair community. This treasure of knowledge is called as ‘Vedas’ which are given to us by our ancient seers obtained by them through their great effort and penance. She is talking about her impending puberty. “Times have changed,” she tells. We focus on women’s self-development and pursuit of happiness, by offering information on career development, entrepreneurship, managing work and family, successful women, women’s health, social issues and personal finances. Particularly those menstrual taboos will be spooled into her mind for future replay. She, a believer, knows no better way to initiate a girl into puberty. The girl’s maternal uncle plays a major role in this ceremony. I do believe that periods should be normalized as it is a natural process, and the celebration of menarche would help to fight the stigma, discrimination, myth, and taboos around menstruation but it comes with its problems. She wears the saree for the first time, with jewellery that enhances her beauty like never before. “Akka (Elder Sister) got it at thirteen,” Seetha said, with slight impatience creeping into her voice. With those few hushed words, Anju is initiated into a life time of secret-period-act, no drum beats, no fanfare, no adequate initiation, no sympathies either. Our Country India can actually be compared to a storybook which is full of wonderful and weird stories. Seetha is innocent and impressionable! 542 Shares. Seetha has fantasized a fairy tale ceremony. Coming of age rituals are the society’s way to include young men and women into the adult pool. He is certainly the guest of honour and the main convener of the puberty ritual in most southern states. by Meghna. “You will get it from now on.” And that is that. Balls of raw rice flour mixed in jaggery, spiked with the flavour of cardamom and ghee, is another recipe for the pubescent. No kidding, this young lady is now fertile and feminine, and she and the rest better respect her for that! Watch Queue Queue. Reactions vary, not on the basis of state, these are personal preferences; that is what I am assured. The Nair community, being a matrilineal society, celebrated the menarche of the women because, in the matrilineal society, it is believed, the line of the family is traced by the women. My Tamil speaking friend concurs. (Note: In Assam, men don’t partake in the haldi ritual, and the maternal uncle does not play any particular role either.). For non-vegetarians, raw egg yolk is offered to the girl, which is gulped down full, without breaking the yolk, with half a cup of sesame oil, daily, for fifteen days! Anju’s thoughts are fixated on the blood-y stench and nature’s abject unfairness towards her body. The gifts in this party are primarily a preparation for her dowry. How? It hence becomes responsibility of our culture to again make him a Universal Being unbound and free." A Day In My ‘Dream Life’- The Experience of A Newly-Married Desi Bahu. Bheemakka, who doesn’t have a surname because she doesn’t know who her father is, went through the puberty ritual in March, 2013, but she wasn’t sold. The question looms large. A keen look at the dichotomy of puberty rituals in India and how the practices hold menstruation both holy and sinful. She has questions. Puberty. In cultures across the world, coming of age marks a crucial turning point in one's life and calls for celebration. A similar ceremony could be observed in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh as well. As parents, they wanted the best for Raksha. The attainment of puberty marked the next important festival in the life of a girl. “Yes she got it early. Puberty Ritual In South India. The ceremony is to “celebrate” menarche, some believe, it is to announce in the neighbourhood that the girl has attained puberty and is “eligible” to marry. Having been part of each other’s functions and celebrations. The first three to four days (the duration of the ceremony varies from family to family), the girl is kept in isolation. How little we know our own neighbours! Seetha’s mother will counsel her on the significance, the precautions, the frequency, and yes, the restrictions. There are believers and non-believers in all pockets. Let us leave the past to the past. 10 Handicraft Home Decor Products From Across India, Why Is A Woman’s Virginity So Important? “Your body becomes impure during periods, you need to restrict your movement,” is a message every girl is given. The puberty ritual in Sri Lanka : a comparative exploration of perceptions and attitudes between Buddhists and Christians. A lot of people see it as a “progressive” ceremony and a celebration of menarche. Today we have other questions to ask. Green Library. Raksha’s parents wanted Foto Zone to do a series of portfolio shots which would later be used as a slide show during her puberty function. Rendered untouchable, she will be unable to touch most of her own belongings even. During the isolation, the girl has to follow a strict diet of vegetables, fruits, jaggery, and rice. Black sesame seed powdered and mixed with cane sugar is offered frequently in this period, this is particularly considered rich in vitain E. Dosa is also part of the ritualistic food, as it contains urad dal and rice. You would be surprised how in a country like India, there are several cultures down south that welcome a girl’s periods as auspicious. Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both! It is celebrated mainly in Tamil Nadu where it is called ‘ Manjal Neerattu Vizha ‘ and Karnataka where it is referred to as ‘ Ashirvada ‘. Confinement, Nutritious food and a feast, are the bedrock of these ceremonies. Earlier, this ceremony was practised to a great extent by the Nair community. She gives her a pack of sanitary napkins, the ones Anju used to see in TV commercials. Linkedin. Loading... Close. Remove all; Disconnect; The next video is … Therefore, a girl’s first period ensured fertility and procreating a generation of the family. Click here to find out more. Ground Urad dal or fenugreek seed, cooked in sesame oil in slow simmering heat and served with jaggery or palm sugar syrup is another puberty meal. Don’t you think it is good, you are saved all that hassle a little longer?” comforted her mother, speaking to her daughter in their mother-tongue, Tamil. Why Does Hinduism Still Insist On Impurity Of Menstruation? Karnataka banned the practice in 1982, calling it a "social evil" that led women to prostitution. Anju keeps quiet, attentively listening, cautious not to ask questions. 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