The ways in which an Indian woman is made to realize how insignificant she is by our society is endless. One of the most accepted methods of doing so is via traditions. Add the divine to everything you believe in and everyone will start accepting whatever crap you throw at them, and that is the reality of the society we live in. for someone who controls the world as we know it, a few fasts and celebrations sure signify nothing, especially those traditions that discriminate amongst humans. Here are a few Indian traditions that belittle the status of women and are still in practice.
To begin with, there is the tradition that the bride has to head to the groom’s house. If you look at the weddings in the west, the newlyweds head to a house where they would live as equals, while here it’s mad clear that she is no longer a part of the family that raised her, but has become a member (only on the outside) of her husband’s family. Next, comes Dowry. No matter what we might think it is still a prevalent tradition in the society, all thanks to the fact that the bride is essentially shifting to her husband’s house and not her own. The groom’s family might not ask for it, yet dowry is still given as a status symbol or in the name of aiding the newlyweds in starting their life together.
This festival, as it is called, is the epitome of the oppressions faced by women in our society. The very essence of this tradition is that a husband’s life is more important than the wife’s. By glorifying the ideal wife, a clear message is being sent across by the patriarchy that so long as you stay oppressed the role assigned to you by the divine is fulfilled. The day-long fast ends with worshipping the husband, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? It was after all the wife who accomplished the daunting task of going on with their duties without even a gulp of water, and yet it is the husband, who probably had the time of his life that day, who gets to play the god. What’s worse is that the so-called flag bearers of modernity in the Indian film industry glorify this tradition in movies and music.
So this is something very personal to me who has seen the difference in celebrating childbirth depending on the gender of the child. The wishes itself are loud and clear on this matter for it’s a casual affair when a girl is born, but the family might just have been blessed by the almighty if it’s a boy. His disparity is further pronounced within the family where the amount of cash and gold showed on the baby and their parents are proportional to whether it’s a boy or a girl that has been born. The second child is an even more complicated issue. If a girl is born in a family where the first-born was a female, condolences and not congratulations are conveyed, and the mother might be worshiped as a goddess if she gives birth to a second son.
The Price of Marrying your Daughter
The fact that your son-in-law married your daughter is something that you should forever feel indebted by. You can see the difference very clearly between the statuses that the son-in-law and the daughter-in-law hold in their in-law’s house by the way they are received. While the entire house is prepped and the choicest cuisines are cooked for the former, these chores are lined up waiting for the latter to arrive and complete. This isn’t all, for even when the two families are ‘forced’ to meet, it is the duty of the wife-s family to laud her in-laws with sweets and other gifts, on every occasion, for as long as they are alive. This goes beyond the parents, for once they are gone, it’s her brother who has to carry on settling the debt the family so desperately and graciously incurred.