In India menstruation has so many taboos associated with it. However, there is always a bright side to every situation. The lack of menstrual awareness is the only problem kindling the stereotypes and deprivation of culture. India wasn’t always an orthodox country where menses were a matter of taboo.
Ancient history marks in bold that women aren’t a subject of objectification or disrespect. What’s astonishing is that the same India that has feeble knowledge about what is a menstrual cup now, used to host many festivals to celebrate menstruation.
Shocking, isn’t it?
Well, in the old days, when a woman had her periods, it was marked by a period of celebration that denoted her transition from girlhood to womanhood. The elders used to worship the menstruating girl and chant prayers for her as she was the embodiment of the fertile aspect of nature.
Over time, menstruation became a taboo, and several myths emerged from half-baked tales without any authentic roots. Fortunately, the rituals are still living. Numerous places in India celebrate menstruation like the old times. Here are three states that celebrate menstruation in all its brightness!
Raja Parba, a three-day-long festival, is celebrated by women in Odisha to celebrate menstruation and womanhood. At an age where people out there are asking about what is a menstrual cup, Odia people are honoring women with their culture and ancient roots.
The people in Odisha believe that during the three days of Raja Parba, Mother Earth, or Bhudevi menstruates, and after completion of the three days, a ceremonial bath is also arranged on the fourth day. Women and girls take a break from any kind of work during these three days and celebrate the festival with new clothes and sweets.
Read Also: Beginner’s Guide to Wearing a Menstrual Cup
2 Tamil Nadu
The Manjal Neerattu Vizha is a nine-day festival with a turmeric bathing ceremony that acknowledges a girl’s coming of age. The festival is celebrated when a girl gets her first period. The menstruating girl gets all dressed up with a saree and gold jewelry and sits with other girls who are yet to reach puberty.
In the Ritu Kala Samskara or Ritushuddhi ceremony, a girl’s transition to womanhood is celebrated by giving her a saree. This is the first saree of her life, and she drapes it for the first time. The girl will continue to wear it until her wedding when she can drape a full saree.
Why menstrual awareness is essential?
Every year thousands of girls drop out of school just because they have their period. Several surveys state that mothers of menstruating girls who don’t go to school assert that they fear their child will be embarrassed because of the lack of proper female hygiene products.
Women in the rural areas of India still use cloth as a sanitary product in an age where anyone can easily get a reusable menstrual cup online. They don’t even have to buy a sanitary product again and again or suffer from rashes and vaginal infections when they buy a menstrual cup online.
This is the consequence of a lack of menstrual awareness. Awareness about periods won’t just eradicate the stigma about menstruation in society, but it can also propel the girl child towards a better future.