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Why Does A Gay Couple Getting Married In Kodava Attire Still Upset The Traditionalists?

A gay couple getting married in traditional Kodava attire sparked outrage from the community. Just how deep do the roots of homophobia run?

A gay couple getting married in traditional Kodava attire sparked outrage from the community. Just how deep do the roots of homophobia run?

Recently, The News Minute reported that a gay couple in California faced severe backlash when they decided to get married in traditional Kodava attire. The couple’s photos were widely circulated and received collective public outrage from the Kodava community of Karnataka. Following this, several people came forward to support the couple and said that the community needs to keep up with changing times.

What is the outrage about?

According to The News Minute report, the couple decided to tie a knot on September 25. Sharath and Sundeep were married in a traditional Sikh-Punjabi ceremony followed by a traditional Kodava ceremony the next day. For the Kodava ceremony they were dressed in a traditional Kodava attire which sparked an outrage within the community, here in India.

KS Devaiah, President of the Madikeri Kodava Samajam tagged the act as blasphemous and wrong. Bacharaniyanda Apanna, a native of Kushalnagar and a historian of Kodava culture said that traditional attire should not be used for promotional purposes. 

Initially, the couple and their family decided not to react to the community’s allegations. However, as the issue escalated, the couple decided to answer the targeted homophobia.

According to the report by The News Minute, the couple said, “We are living our truths. The choice is yours to make if you’re on the right side of history and choose to join us or if you continue to be on the wrong side of history.” 

It’s not so difficult to accept homosexuality

Homophobia thrives under the skin of the majority of people, and its roots run deep inside the majority of minds. Many progressions are being made recently in support of the LGBTQ+ community, but we often see people discouraging these progressive steps.

Even two years after the annulment of Article 377, homophobia still remains deeply rooted in our society. One of the reasons people use to defend themselves is, “This is against our tradition and culture.”

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But does our tradition discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation? Hinduism has always embraced gender fluidity and homosexuality. We have always recognised same-sex relations and we can often witness these carvings on our temple walls and pillars.

Our traditions don’t teach us to exclude anyone

Our tradition has always been all inclusive, irrespective of anybody’s sexual orientation. The LGBTQ+ community has always been an integral part of our society and is represented in various sacred texts.

As a contemporary society, we must learn from our ancestors and embrace homosexuality just like they did. Instead of moving downhill, we should look back and learn acceptance, compassion and reverence for LGBTQ+ community from them.

A sense of acceptance is sprouting slowly within the minds of people, but yet we have a long way to go. And a person’s sexual orientation shouldn’t hinder their place in the society. After all, our traditions, culture and society is as much as theirs as it is ours.

Picture credits: AsiaNet’s YouTube channel

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About the Author


Anamika is an English literature student with a strong inclination towards feminist literature, feminist literary criticism and women's history. read more...

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