Wednesday, October 11, 2006

ABACHAARAM

To this day, there exist educated girls' families who will announce to the whole world that she's attained puberty; create and celebrate her embarassment. But later ask her to keep her sanitary napkins tucked safely inside her handbag so that other people don't see it and know that she is going through her periods.

To this day, there exist educated girls' parents who won't let the girl touch household stuff or other people during her monthly cycle. And make her sleep on the floor during that time.

To this day, there exist educated girls' parents who will let the son travel far and wide; study and earn. But will not send the girl to a neighbouring city college because they want her "at least" to be with them.

To this day, there exist educated girls' families who send their daughters only to girls' schools or colleges to avoid their coming into contact with boys. Worse still, send them to co-education colleges and order them not to talk to boys.

To this day, there exist educated girls' parents who will not let the girl marry the boy of her choice. For the only reason that he is from a different religion or caste. Or worse still, in the same religion and caste, but different subcaste.

The problem is: these people are not educated, they are only literate.

43 comments:

Jayan said...

Times are changing and will change. Our society is an orthodox one. It will change slowly, but surely.

Vinesh said...

Jayan: I agree with you - our society will change - but till then, people continue to suffer.

By the way, my statcounter tells me you are the 27,000th visitor to Orange Juice :-)

Thamizhmaagani said...

yo vinesh, this article was damn good esp the part abt saying exposing to the whole world abt the girls' puberty thingy.... that's utter embarrasment for the gal as what u have said. i totally agreed with u that all these should change. but it will take ages for the society to change what they view 'norms'. all this UTTER rubbish practices shld be fully STOPPED!!

and what u said abt these mindset of pple is VERY TRUE.. they are not educated!! they are a just a bunch of pple who follow practices blindly!!

sai thilak said...

People will continue to suffer in silence as they did for past hundreds of years. The kind of liberation, modern women celebrating now has been obtained in the last 50 years or so. When we compare this with the situation around 100 or 200 years back, it is a dramatic and unimaginable turnaround. So things will change for sure, as it is the nature of all, and might happen in our age itself but it will also bring more profound impacts.

Srijith Unni said...

Well said, Vinesh!
Man is blindly following certain things in the name of tradition.. If "educated" girls also oblige to this, it is only because they do not want hurt their parents who are not educated enough to refute ancient mortal norms.

With Best Regards,
Srijith

monu said...

hey vinesh, about the last bit about educated people who oppose the girl's choice of husband just because he belongs to a different community, well, don't parents of guys do that too?
opposition in the lines of caste knows no gender...

And you know what? whats embarassing about a girl attaining puberty? it is a natural process. isn't it? anyways if the girls is unconfortable about the celebration for it , then the parents can play it down.....

thats what happened with me..my sis had this grand celeb. and i told my parents that i wouldnt haev any such thing..and mine had only four members in attendance..

and reg the thing when women are not allowed to touch things in the house during periods...well, if we think a little, we will know the actual reasons..to this day, the women do most of the house-hols works, whether they are working or stay-st-home..they do most of the chores at home... hence for those 3 days when women may not be comfy, cramps et all, asking them not to toucch things in the house, was just a simple way of giving them the must needed rest...

that i think is the actual reason...some people may be twisting it to abnormal levels..ofcourse...

but the funda is teh girl gets the much required rest.... my sis is a house wife and she must be glad that she is getting the much needed rest on those days....

prob we can look a little deppeer into these practises....

well, about parents of girls curtailing their freedom, sadly it exists..
:(

but you know what, once i told my HR in office, "life is difficult for women"
and she replied back saying
"life is unfair and difficult for both men and women"
hmmmm............

Karthik Srinivasan said...

They are simply educated fools. Agreed that girl has to be brought up like a girl(the preaching of old age perisugal sitting idle at home) but she need to know or taught about the darker phases of life... Those who lack this knowledge will surely suffer in life when they are put through testing times... Its not a curse but a warning parents of every girl must be aware of today.

There was an incident few weeks back. My sister and her friends on their way to AIR along Marina were teased by a group of rouges and one of those guys snatched a girl's dupatta... And their college allows girls and boys walking together but 100 ft apart from each other(U know which college it is :P)

The girl, scared to hell, had nothing to do but cry while couple of "courageous" girls cried out for help from guys who came and roughed up the rouges "saving" their classmates...

With parents and educational institutions still remaining backward wrt bringing up girls, there seems to be no much improvement even in modren era!! :-(

Karthik Srinivasan said...

And reg. ur thoughts on those three days, it has been a tremendous improvement from the days of tortures that women experienced 30-35 yrs back.. Listening to teen stories from my mom and her sisters abt how they were treated in that time makes me shiver even today... Things will further improve with time!!! The mothers of today have brought some reforms for their daughters... So its in the hands of these daughters(the mothers of tomorrow) to save their daughters!!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

As for freedom for girls, parents are just looking out for them.

It's just not that they don't trust their baby girls, its just that they don't trust OTHER PEOPLE's BOYS! =P

~Merino

Queen said...

What you have said is true but the percentage of its existence is low when compared to say 10 or 15 years back. The function they have when the girl attains puberty is just a chance to show their status and wealth, its a prestige issue if they dont have such function.

Abt second and third instances you have mentioned, i think they are very less in existence among educated parents.

The last one, i myself is a victim of that. I had to face a typical tamil movie situation and scenes when i wanted to marry a guy from a diff caste and after great struggle for almost 3 years we made them say yes. But believe me, its sth like, "oodinen oodinen, vazhkayin oorathirke oodinen" kind of feeling.

Nice thought Vinesh. And FYI, for the past 3 days i couldnt access ur blog but was able to see others. Was there any issue?

Queen said...

have written some 'kavithais' in my blog. comments are welcome.

Kroopa Shah (Kr00pz) said...

Must say, very well written :-)

kuttichuvaru said...

nice thoughts dude!! hate to see such practices still.... but hopefully, the wheel of time sets them right!!

n as already pointed out, I wasnt able to get to ur blog coupla days!!

Vinesh said...

@everyone: folks, thanks for your views on this. i'm only responding to a few questions that were raised..

Vinesh said...

@monu:

hey vinesh, about the last bit about educated people who oppose the girl's choice of husband just because he belongs to a different community, well, don't parents of guys do that too?
opposition in the lines of caste knows no gender...

i agree with you, no gender bias. got carried away talking about all the girls i know personally!

whats embarassing about a girl attaining puberty? it is a natural process. isn't it?
i understand it's a perfectly natural process. that's why i said "create and celebrate the embarrassment. instead of explaining scientifically, they call the whole world to announce that she's started secreting. this embarrasses the girl, cos now mora payyan, nura payaan everyone looks at her with a different eye. then they celebrate it.

thats what happened with me..my sis had this grand celeb. and i told my parents that i wouldnt haev any such thing..and mine had only four members in attendance..
lucky lucky you! i know girls who didn't get to choose.

hence for those 3 days when women may not be comfy, cramps et all, asking them not to toucch things in the house, was just a simple way of giving them the must needed rest...
it's not just that, monu. unfortunately there have always been notions of a woman being "dirty" and "unsanitized" during her periods. that's why she's not allowed to enter temples, do pooja and so on.

but you know what, once i told my HR in office, "life is difficult for women"
and she replied back saying
"life is unfair and difficult for both men and women"

i am a man. tell me about it.

:-)

Vinesh said...

@karthik srinivasan: that was a disturbing incident you related, karthik.. i think college authorities are waiting for soemthing drastic to happen, to change their bloody rules.

@merino: haha, funny, but true. still. that is no excuse.

Vinesh said...

@queen: congratulations on your perseverance to marry the boy of your choice! wish parents made it a little bit easier for children in this regard.

i have no clue why Orange Juice was acting up for 3 days.. i noticed it too. i just made this post, and the problem was solved.

@kuttichuvaru: no clue why blog problem happened :-(

golmaalgopal said...

yeah vinesh, very true...even in this modern era there are many many people who believe and follow age old customs...hope things will change for good...

Paavai said...

In all that you have mentioned the reason (for ex of giving rest)is something the individual concerned has not realized but is following blindly. Totally totally agree with you that such individuals can only be called literate and not educated.

I cant help remembering my grandmother, when I had to attend a coed college, telling my mother -'manasu kaavala, madil kaavala'- she is in my opinion is educated though she hadnt attended a single day of school.

indianangel said...

Vinesh! nice and short post! From a parents perspective my thought is they are being a little extra cautious, because the society brands the girl, in every awkard possible way who comes out affected due to infatuation(worse if physically) or a failed wedlock. You may say "Well I dont care abt this society" but the reality is we have to live with it! But agreeing that women today have more freedom of choice, and they still need even more - its kind of absurd when people stick to things like different caste! What I feel is parents should guide their daughter in the right way until they are a mature adult( lets say until 21 or 22) and then give them the freedom to make their own choices - that way atleast girls will be brave and matured enough to face issues independently (which I believe today's women are). nice post!

madrasmami said...

To this day there exist

mothers of grooms who ask their daughters-in-law to-be if they get their periods on time

to-be wedded girls who say "my fiance' and family are very maadern.. they have allowed me to wear jeans even after the marriage"

aunties who one may not even know who come and ask "enna (baby) planning la irukkiya?"

Anonymous said...

literate not educated, true but one thing I would differ with is the title.

Though the first part is true with a typical brahmin family (not allowing to touch stuff, dont think others practice this tooo) the rest is prevalent in our whole society and not particular to any specific community.

1) Women sleep on the floor, totally unheard. They are isolated and that is the only rule of thumb for both the day and the night.

2) Isolation is not to incriminate but is more a protection, during menstrual periods, they are apparently vulnerable to unhygenic sorroundings.

u might ask me arent the rest healthy,
old habits die hard!!!!

itz better tht way considering the mood swings ;)

--
hurry.

Jeevan said...

Nice writeup VInesh!

Jinguchakka said...

You've hit the nail on its head!
Couldn'e be anymore to the point!

Syam said...

one word vinesh... NETHIADI :-)

Tanushree said...

its just because of the some myths that they are still following it...
its even more pathetic when being a women itself.. mothers dont able to understand her own daughter....

Jayan said...

Feels great being a historical visitor :)

The number holds more than 1 significance for me!

shruti said...

world is changing..
intresting enough, my previous post is about staus of women only..
if you want you can have a look...

take care...

Ayshu said...

Liked ur last line!Makes sense!
Its chnaged a lot now but we still hv a long way to go!!

Ravi said...

Vinesh, maybe you may want to read these counter explanations on your post. Very interesting! Don't miss part-2 as well.

http://www.askenni.com/archives/2006/10/is_puberty_cere.html#more

Karthik B.S. said...

sema postu vinesh...

very different from what i get to see in other blogs...

yes they are only literate..... but lets' hope that time will change.

indianangel said...

sorry for the off-topic comment. happy diwali vinesh!

Amit said...

A truly, very thought provoking post Vinesh. The trouble is the woman a defamed all over society. Not just in asian countries where a lot of what you mentioned goes on. Even in places like the UK, woman and talked about, by men, as purely sexual objects. But alas, change will occur when, not just woman, but men also shift their awareness and consciousness of the equality of men and woman. Not just equality in the physical form, but also awareness that the human spirit is genderless.

Happy Diwali everyone! :)

Bindu said...

A thought provoking post and I think it will take some more decades for this to disappear.

Skylark said...

hi vinesh,

i dont read blogs for lack of time and more so of interest.
accidentally stumbled upon urs from somewhere else and was stunned to read 'Abachaaram'.
my parents had sent me far and wide and given me a far esteemed treatment than my own brother.
i am grateful for them indeed.
a different angle to your view would be that some gals tend to misuse this freedom and respect their parants and siblings shower

on them.

but the idiosyncracies still exist.
as a tamil brahmin, i have been through all these and often regretted for being born a tam brahmin.
'abacharam' is the inner cry of every gal, atleast at some point of time. thanks for giving words to them.

i remember Rabindranath Tagore's verses from Gitanjali:
"Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. "

Me too said...

Most of the points you've mentioned had a meaning in those days but irrelevant in today's world.

The untouchability practiced during periods was b'cos there were no hygienic sanitary napkins in those days. I've even heard that women could go without bathing during those days(hence the no-no to enter temples/attend poojas). With limited protection, sleeping on the floor was the easiest way to clean!! There are girls/women in present day silently bearing these harships. If you can read Tamil check out this

I've always felt the separating the genders (everywhere in queues, in buses etc.)in our place has an overall negative effect. Especially the movies showing as if the college campus is the matrimonial site!
And regarding marrying the person of one's choice, the movies have made it sound like the parents' are the villians. There are immature 21+es and mature 21-es!

Marutham said...

Great Post Dude!!!
It is shocking to see people behave awkwardly like this,even today...

BOO !! Them ....
Well, last but not t least--"The problem is: these people are not educated, they are only literate."Great thought!! :)

Very well said. When you speak of this, there are few illiterates- who seem well educated :)

surgeon said...

hlo new post

tulipspeaks said...

Social discrimination of women aside, some issues r not confined only to women or Indians as pointed out by some of the bloggers.

I had a grand celebration when I attained age. but I dont see anything embarassing about it though. Its a traditional ceremony which is held for purpose. I applaud modern women but at the same time, I don't believe in side-lining traditions which do not supress women.

But I dont know abt the issues of banning girls from touching household stuff during period. I'm banned from entering prayers room and touching stuff my mom use in prayers. No comments here though.

About 'discrimination' btwn boys and girls in education usually done in good terms. USUALLY. My mom eg. will be worried everytime I go out but she doesnt stop me from going out. If I argue, she would say I will know why she behave like that when I became a mom. May be she is right.

About marriage. Marrying sumone of different religion or race or even caste is nt a huge prob in the country I live now. So, no comment here either.

Nevertheless, a post which brings out different views. Kuddo!

=ammu=

lakshmi said...

Ooruku ellam upadesam , nama veedu nu vanthuta ellam parpanga parents.That's their mentality.

Aradhana said...

You have a fundoo blog here! I really enjoyed going through it...you have another repeat visitor :)

Manasa Atluri said...

rombha correct aa sonne vinesh...nice blog.

thank god my parents r not like that...lucky me.

How do we know said...

To this day, there are people who will fight this injustice, and will keep doing that till the injustice exists no more.

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