#CelebrateingtheRainbow at the workplace – share your stories of Pride!
The stigma around menstruation is certainly puzzling - society celebrating a girl's transition into womanhood yet making a menstruating woman untouchable!
The stigma around menstruation is certainly puzzling – society celebrating a girl’s transition into womanhood yet making a menstruating woman untouchable!
Menstruation is a unique natural process that a woman is blessed with. The onset of this process is linked with many social beliefs and taboos. There are many places in the world where a unique tradition is followed celebrating a girl’s transition to womanhood. However, the barring of menstruating women from temples or any holy places is still not clear to me.
In India, Assam and few South Indian states seem to celebrate the onset of menstruation in grandeur. The girl gets clad in a beautiful sari or with their traditional wear, people from the neighbourhood are informed and they come to bless the girl with gifts. The girl is given healthy and extravagant food to eat.
In many other countries, they follow something similar. The tribes in Africa believe that a menstruating girl gets into divinity and holds some divine power with wisdom. They consider their blood sacred and celebrate the onset of puberty with annual events. The Japanese celebrate this occasion by eating red-colored rice and beans. Rice is precious and is eaten only during the celebration. This tradition is kept secret until the rice is served. Similarly, countries like Nepal, Australia have their own way of celebrating the first menstrual cycle of a woman.
We have seen how people from different regions celebrate the beginning of womanhood. Then on the other hand, why do these people prevent women from entering holy places or offering prayers? Why is their blood termed dirty and menstruating women treated as impure?
For example, in Japan, the followers of the religion Shinto pray to the Kami (the spirits they worship) and follow a strict rule for menstruating women for not entering the temples. They believe that the Kami don’t grant wishes for those who have traces of blood, dirt or death on them.
In Hindus, in many communities, menstruating women are asked not to involve themselves in any of the household activities. They are not entitled to enter either a temple or a kitchen. Some families even ask menstruating women to sleep on the floor rather than on their normal beds. They are given a separate room to stay in and even served their food in separate plates.
Confusing! On the one hand the onset of menstruation is celebrated! On the other hand, women are stigmatized for their menstruating cycles. If society feels proud and happy to announce the change to to womanhood, then why does it become ashamed of and stop women from going about their normal life during menstruation?
Even if it is for giving her ‘rest’, don’t you think that the girl should be the sole decision maker rather than society? I would really like to understand this ritual ambiguity associated with menstruation. Please share your thoughts and experiences so that we can understand it better.
Become a premium user on Women’s Web and get access to exclusive content for women, plus useful Women’s Web events and resources in your city.
Published here earlier.
Image source: shutterstock
A Clinical Data Analyst by profession, a vagabond, a hearty eater, an extoller of art.
Creator of the e-zine "BananiVista-Living and Exploring"an online platform for the young and the restless, the explorers read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Maleesha who calls herself ‘Princess of Slum’ through her social media captions has now landed herself a space on the cover of Forest Essentials' new campaign.
“Dream, and one day that dream will come true” as said by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, many of us have goals to accomplish and we do dream about achieving them.
A huge dream has come true for a 14-year-old girl from a Mumbai slum area, Maleesha Kharwa. She has been a simple girl with a normal family until some time ago. Today she is the face of the popular skincare brand Forest Essentials.
Kharwa was first discovered by Hollywood actor Robert Hoffman in 2020 who later created a Go Fund Me page for Maleesha.
My mom was shocked to see how he behaved with me. This is when I realised that my husband’s behaviour was not normal and it was not my oversensitivity.
Trigger Warning: This speaks of domestic violence and may be triggering to survivors.
“Anju, let us go to Masi’s place since you can drive now”-this was my mom encouraging me to drive. I had just learnt driving, was extremely scared of using the reverse gear but my mom was happy to go with me to her sister’s place which was 15 kms away just so that I gain confidence in driving.
This is but one example of how she did everything possible to encourage me and my sister.
Please enter your email address