Chelsy Veronika Rema:
Once upon a time, King of the Gods made a huge crime by killing a Brahmin. So He was suggested by Lord Vishnu that he has to divide his burden of the crime between Trees, Earth, Water and Women. As part of his crime,
- 1/4th of the curse was given to the trees and they were blessed that in return they could regrow or regain their life as per their own will.
- 1/4th was given to water and in return, it got the power to purify other beings in this world. This is why Hindus consider jal or water to be pure and use it while performing many customs and traditions.
- 1/4th was given to the earth and was blessed with the power to heal.
- The last part of the curse was given to women which they got in the form of their menstrual cycle or periods, but in return, they got the blessing of being able to bear a new life inside them and be superior to men.
This myth has a strong effect on western Nepal. In western Nepal, women are exiled during their period. This is called “Chhaupadi”. where women are forced to sleep in the period hut. They believe women who enter in the house during their period, brings bad luck. Though there is a new law against it people are so dogmatic in their beliefs that don’t seem to obey the law against their tradition. There were several dying news during living in that unhygienic and unsafe hut.
According to the Reuters, More than third of girls in South Asia, miss schools during their period. In one district of Nepal, there’s only one toilet for 170 women. In Sri Lanka, 2//3 girls said they receive no information before starting their periods.
Menstruation, or period, is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle. Every month, a female’s body prepares for pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, the uterus, or womb, sheds its lining. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissue from inside the uterus. It passes out of the body through the vagina. It usually lasts from three to five days. Besides bleeding from the vagina, females may have
Abdominal or pelvic cramping pain
Lower back pain
Bloating and sore breasts
Mood swings and irritability
Headache and fatigue
Why doe only females have to go through with all these things? Because females are blessed to carry a life inside their body for nine months. That means just to you to be born safe, your mother has gone through all those pains from her younger age. And now your sister, girlfriend, friend, the daughter must be going through as well. It is a shame that most of the time who embarrasses a girl during her period is the old ladies, saying a girl is dirty during this time so she is not allowed to touch or sit beside her or not allowed to pray, eat pickles, go outside and so on. A friend once shared a story of her school friend that, she kept fast during her period on Ramadan because she would feel awkward if her brothers or cousins sees her to eat or drink. Sometimes buying a sanitary napkin is hard because people look at the person who is buying a pad like she’s committing a crime or she should have asked for the pad in a very low voice. Shopkeepers wrap these kinds of stuff so much as if they are covering something dangerous! Instead of helping, people laugh at the person seeing the stain in dress or while buying sanitary napkins.
For most of the girl who lives far away from the city, using sanitary napkin is too expensive and maybe embarrassing to buy in front of the public, so they just use cloths and uses that same cloth again after washing it. Even after they get rashes they don’t seem to care much. Because it is the only cheap way and easy to hide. Most of the girl who’s not having periods yet have a little knowledge or no knowledge at all but what they do know is, it is a very secretive thing. Why? There’s no proper answer but a rigid thought has been passed on since decades, across generations.
Parents and experienced people must make it clear that the menstruation cycle is not a suffering but a beautiful process of being capable of growing a life inside of the body which the only female can do.
- The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology- by Wendy Doniger.
Chelsy Veronika Rema is a student of journalism and mass communication. She loves to write stories. If you want to read some of her stories here’s the link. https://www.bengalcreativehub.