Menstruation in our society is taboo. Why? Even though each one of us knows about it, we choose to keep mum when talking about it. This is because periods have different meanings and traditions associated with them. In some places, it is considered impure as a result of which girls are isolated or beaten continuously, while other parts tend to celebrate its beginning. Here is a list of different traditions related to periods that will blow your mind:
5 Traditions Around The World Related To Menstruation
1. Slapping the girl as she gets her first periods
In Jews, this signifies her growth into womanhood and hence ‘sense is slapped into her’, while in Afghans, this is a warning to keep her periods a secret from the men in the family who would marry her off if they got to know about her menstrual process.
2. Cutting off her Clitoris
Yes, you read it right! This inhuman practice prevails in the Sabiny Tribe of Uganda. As a girl gets her first period her clitoris is partially or completely removed. There are complete chances of infection as the conditions are unhygienic. Also, this can lead to the death of the victim. Her doubted survival ensures her power to endure any hurdle in her further life. This ritual warns her against being unfaithful to her husband.
3. Iron her Breasts
Coal heated hammers are pressed against the breast of the little girl who had just started to menstruate. This practice is an intentional act to make her look less attractive so that she does not become a victim of rape. Giving hellish pain in order to protect her from the other? Indeed such rituals prove menstruation to be a curse!
4. Girl, You are impure!
In Hinduism and Islam, a girl on her period is prohibited from entering holy shrines or performing any kind of rituals associated with God such as fasting. Following the Hindu culture, a girl is prohibited from entering the kitchen area, wearing flowers or having sex. They are isolated and deemed untouchable. In Islam, her blood is believed to be unclean.
5. Time to celebrate, at least some of us are humans!
In Sri Lanka and some regions of South Africa, periods are a reason to be happy. Though she is made to stay at home for 3 days, away from men and children, she is given loads of gifts that celebrate her period’s coming. Moving to the Tamilian community, she is bathed by her close ones followed by a grand feast in isolation. Next, she is again made to take a bath after which she dresses in a saree, wears jewellery and applies makeup. This signifies her newly attained womanhood.
Some regions with advancements have taken a step back from performing the deadly rituals. Furthermore, let’s hope the rest see these different traditions related to periods as useless and inhuman.