Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Baseless Traditions of my Country - Postpartum Edition!

In my honourable Indian culture, A lady who has delivered is not allowed to step out for 90 days! Up to 40 days you are not even supposed to look at the sky! Yes! Ask why and there is no reason to it, it's just bad. Now because most ladies give birth in hospitals, there is no choice when it comes to going there but other than that you go no where! And during this period your husband can go touring with friends and enjoy his freedom. Its solely the duty of the mother and other ladies in the house to take care of the baby!
I understand that the lady would be tired and not fully fit after delivery, but won't going out for a small walk in the park lift her mood and energy? Wouldn't spending little time with her hubby and baby out make her happy? Wouldn't including husband in taking care of baby help him respect his wife and strengthen his bond with baby and wife? I certainly felt happier! When my hubby took over to change baby's diaper, rock him to sleep or hold him telling me to take a break, my respect for him grew to a new level! Why the shocking faces when I say, 'of-course he knows to change diapers too?'.
Well, who cares about lady's happiness? Like some ladies in my family say, the girl's feelings does not matter. After marriage and delivery, your days of happiness are over! You sole aim in life should be to make your hubby and children happy. I am very happy to do that, not because it's my duty, but because i love to see them happy - no complains there but am I supposed to not expect anything back in return? Why are we considered selfish when we do? A little love and appreciation won't hurt right? We are homo sapiens after all!
 I am so thankful that being an Indian, my husband is not the one with all these notions! He is such a supportive hubby! He knows how much I am mad about outing and so he used to take me out for a walk and all! Alhamdulilah! But It did not go well with some of my relatives and we had to hear lectures!
Those 40 days you are supposed to be always drenched in oil and wear old clothing and never look good! Your baby's eyebrows and eyes should be painted black and his cheeks should be dotted with a black spot to avoid eyecast! And No! You cannot put this black spot any where else on the face because that would make the child look like he/she is from another religion - only on the cheeks (and I dared to do that because I thought my baby looked more cute with the black spot on the side of his forehead! Lol!)!! 
On the 40th day, the lady and baby are bathed and dressed up! You and the baby will be made to look at the sky and trees! Then the relatives are supposed to adorn your baby with gold, you don't bring gold you are a shame to the family. And here the religious saying can be ignored! It is clearly mentioned in Islam that gold is prohibited for boys - whether you are a baby or a teeth less old man - there is no exception! Why is it that you can decide which rule you want to follow and which you don't? Then you can oppress that rule over others? And as if this was not enough, you have to note down how much gold each person bought and give it back when they have babies!
I do not wish to disrespect my family in anyway! I love you all! I am asking this to all people in general! Why concentrate on following such baseless things than loving the child and providing happiness and support to the tired mom? Let people bring whatever they like for the baby - why insist on gold? Even if a person just comes and prays for my child's better life - wouldn't that be the biggest gift?
I didn't mean to scare you off with my ranting. These are some things I and I'm sure many of you ladies from India face. I decided to stand up against these and I did have to face some oppositions! I did not want to paint my baby's face with black (seriously do you think doing that will help make his eyebrows and eyelash thicker? Then why don't we paint the whole head so his hair grows thick as well? and God alone knows what chemicals goes into those kajals?)
I chose not to wear any gold on my child - first thing it is prohibited in my religion, second i hate showing off! My mom-in-law was not very happy with this and My hubby and I had to convince her long. She has a feeling that my son would complain when he grows that i didn't wear gold for him! Don't worry Mom! He does that I'll whop his butts! Lol!
But seriously, it is really hard to get people out of these old baseless notions but it is not impossible! I hate it when people say, 'I know it's wrong but what to do? what will people say? it's part of our tradition in the family?' Pheww!!! C'mon! Whatever you do, people will always talk. God has given you a well functioning brain to decide what's wrong and right, so why not put it to some good use? The story of a man, woman and donkey going to market is the best example for this!
In the end it's mostly the lady or her family who suffer from these practices! If this has to stop each and everyone of you have to take a step. It's not the government but you who has to stop these baseless notions!
  • If you want to stop some kind of senseless practices, do it sensibly. Talk kindly and convince the elders, but be stern in your point. Whether right or wrong - It can be hard to avoid a practice followed for generations!
  • Be a man and take care of your wife with your own money instead of depending on her dowry. 
  • Shouting at her, treating her like a slave does not make you a man - it only shows you are scared people will not regard you as man if you don't. 
  • Treat the women in your house with respect - whether mother, wife or sister - and help them in household works (it will only increase your respect, not put you down). 
  • To ladies - stop spending your time finding faults and gossiping about your friends, family and neighbors. Life has more meaning than the old fashioned necklace your brother's wife wore or the dress your friend wore twice! If you ladies want men to respect you and treat you equal - act like you are worthy of it!
  • Life is not about how much money or gold you have in your banks but the love and respect you earned with your actions. After all that is what people will remember you for after you die.
  • And yes! Please remember we will all die one day! If you were a good human, people will remember you in their prayers or else they will be happy to get rid of you!
Well, these are just a few problems and steps to resolve them. If Indian people start using common sense many things can be solved this way and we can all live in peace and harmony. Wishing and praying such a day comes!

9 comments:

  1. Wow Abi!. You have made your stand clear about these problems that usually people cower and hide under, too weak to protest. Seriously, these traditions are so baseless and women aren't given enough freedom in a household. I am so happy for you that your husband is so supportive, loving and caring!. Masha Allah ♡.. To say the truth, not many men know how to change diapers. Love the way you wrote this post, Abi!. Some age old traditions really need to change. That giving gold thing won't ever change though. It's a vicious cycle of 'they gave gold and now we have to give them back' kinda thing.. Sharing this on Twitter now, dear..

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    1. Thank you for supporting me dear. You know, when you are a new mother, you don't have experience of changing diapers too, it does not come naturally but with learning and practice. The only thing men should be ready to learn it too. For the change to happen somebody has got to start, I am trying as little as possible from my part. What hurts me the most is, such traditions affect the low income groups the most. We get to hear stories of unmarried women, suicides and killings all because of these traditions. Following these will make us responsible for those crimes too.

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  2. Woahhh Abi... Let me just tell you that this was by far your best post everrrrrr.... And I was so spellbound by it... It made me think about your blog and I came to a conclusion that the best part of your blog is your own experiences and notions on life rather than the beauty related ...Ahem not that they are any less than this but still... Whenever I am reading any of your experience tagged post I am like this over enthusiastic person nodding and shaking my head and vehemently agreeing to every point you have bought up.. And this is no different.. Hats off to you lady... I see not a bright future but a happening future for you... So all the best and looking out for more such posts...

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    1. You made me really happy Irene! I know many people go through these but can't speak up. I just thought I should pen down my views so that if at-least it creates some change in one person, it will be a big thing!
      Thank you so much Sweety! <3

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  3. SubhanAllah totally trueee!! :o I mean some stuff we do are just blindly like prestigious issue so we are compled to do!!
    But some kinda stuffs are reduced in my surroundings, it's hard to believe this gold giving thing is followed inspite of the high gold rate!! :)
    Btw I really like rrading your post specially those you wrote about weight loss and then pregnancy and all!! ^_^

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    1. Hi Maryam,
      You are correct, many people do things from prestige issue - they get worried of what people would say if we don't do these. Low income groups suffer the most from these practices.
      Thank you so much fro your feedback dear! :)) <3

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  4. OMGGG!!! Am so happy you dared to raise your voice! I have heard about that and I have seen it as well! And I was pretty much shocked to know these things are practiced specially in Kerela. I heard about the dowry and stuff thing and felt really sorry for those being oppressed! I hope people do realise their mistakes and change for the best. As for Gold giving as far as I have understand its just a traditional thing and it has nothing to do with religion. Even the black eyebrow stuff etc etc... seriously?!!! Every child is born beautiful then why is this required? Ohhh people come on use your brain, be logical! :)

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    1. I know...its pretty shocking and saddening to see people foloow such traditions religiously! I hope some change happen too! Yes, the gold giving is traditional thing yet followed as if an obligatory stuff! You should see what clowns they make out of babies by drawing n dotting them with black! I Thanks for your feedback dear! :)

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