Are Sindoor, Mangalsutra A Choice Or Regressive?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Rihana, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Laks09 ,

    The pooja is performed as it is done in husband's family :)
    While there are no vast differences, certain small ones make it "family tradition"! As for as I know, only 'vratas' like varalakshmi, Gouri etc follow these and festivals like Deepvali, navarathri are flexible!
     
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  2. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 Finest Post Winner

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    @Rihana does not wearing a sindoor Or Mangalsutra make one progressive?
    We all know there answer here is no. So same way following the traditions and customs is not regressive. It's definitely a choice. I read a few initial replies here and do agree. If we question or judge someone's choice that becomes regressive in my opinion.

    **Just saw this thread has moved to 4 pages . There must be some interesting conversation happening here. Will come back post festival.
     
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  3. nuss

    nuss Finest Post Winner

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    Interesting question and here are my 2 cents:
    It’s not what we wear that makes one progressive or submissive. It is our confidence and how we treat others that makes one progressive.
    I am an independent working woman who has broken several societal rules- divorce, marrying a man of different faith and race, and giving my children my last name etc. and I consider myself progressive. However, I love being an Indian-American. I wear shalwar kameez or sari to work when my mood strikes. I always wear a sari on special functions- citizenship oath, award ceremonies, invitation to the Governor’s mansion etc. where I can show that I am a WOC and an example to other women who look up to me as a role model in higher education.
    Most (if not all) married American couples wear their wedding band. I wear mine too. I also do karwachauth because I love the idea of being so much in love tHt you want to live with your better half forever. My husband would joke sometimes if I drink water would he die and I would tease him that do you want to find out because I don’t .
    My kids celebrate Rakhi and look forward to it. No, my daughter is not a damsel in distress who will need her brother to save her, it’s the love among siblings that we celebrate.

    I personally feel that I am a mix of traditional and modern but traditions never bound me to something I don’t agree with or believe in.
     
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  4. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

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    I just had a thought -
    Why majorly only women wear engagement rings and wedding rings? (I know many men do wear wedding bands but still...)
    Why is this NEVER considered patriarchy ?
    Why do divorced women remove their rings? Why dont unmarried/widowed women wear a ring in the ring finger
    Why is this NEVER considered regressive?

    Why are only native traditions attacked? Why are only native people made to feel uneducated or ashamed of their culture?

    Who decided that western culture is progressive and Indian culture is regressive?

    A few weeks back, I visited a middle aged IIT professor at his home - he always takes lectures in a dhoti - he served us some halwa...
    The lady (my age, but more knowledgeable on traditions) who came along with me immediately
    commented - the prof is a brahmachari, and he made this halwa ..
    - I asked - how do you know? there are at least 5 other family members in this house - his parents, sisters etc
    - she said look at the dhoti, he is wearing it brahmachari style, and not gruhasta style.... also he is wearing the uttariyam around the waist, so he was cooking !
    It turned out she was right and the professor confirmed that he had made the halwa !!

    So would this be the opposite of patriarchy? Would you say that the IIT prof is not educated, not progressive?

    @Rihana you have managed to raise more questions than answers now :grinning:
     
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  5. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you all for the responses. Many interesting points raised and thoughtful explanations offered. I read them all and I am still where I was before this thread.

    Widows are still treated differently. This causes them hurt and pain. My voluntarily wearing symbols that mark a woman as "not widow" aids or abets this different treatment (IMO). The abetment is tiny, really miniscule, but there. The connection between my wearing those symbols and their treatment is hard to describe.

    I am unable to respond to each post individually. Plus, I don't have anything new to say.

    I found this old thread said it much better. Read through all the posts without simultaneously responding to them in the mind. If in a time crunch, read pages 1 and 4. If even more time crunch, read the first post and Satchi's responses in the thread.
    Single Women Prohibited From Attending Some Indian Rituals
     
  6. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    To get asked out, start dating and move on. It’s a symbol of being available more than anything else.
     
  7. Anisu

    Anisu Platinum IL'ite

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    There has been lot of changes from early 2000's to this time. Women in the family are having the progressive thinking and treating the widows equally. Infact, there was a sumanagli prarthanai in our gradma's home few months back. We did follow all the procedures for the widows as well. They were no different. As the next generation kids, we are voicing our opinions against these kinds of practices.


    I do agree that there are a lot more families who still treat widows differently and even the thought of changing the mindset is impossible. Small changes what we can bring should make a difference i believe.

    Though we cannot change everyone's perpective. We can atleast change the way we look them atleast in our known circles.
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Anisu,

    Even within the family, the practices are different. When I lost my father in 1987, all the functions in my family (my wife, son and myself) were always conducted by taking the blessings of my mother first before we took blessings from other elders. My brother's family felt that my mother is a widow and hence they asked her to stay out during auspicious celebrations.
     
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  9. chanchitra

    chanchitra Platinum IL'ite

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    How is varalakshmi puja/karvachauth or Diwali patriarchal.
    If that's the case, wearing a hijab is too patriarchal.
    Why does a woman need to cover herself totally ?
     
  10. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    @Rihana
    Above is the answer. VaraLakshmi puja is a women’s festival, a ladies function, a celebration of womanhood and all that only women can do.

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare it to Karvachauth. Unlike Karvachauth men don’t enter the picture at all! They have no role in the puja except as background supporting cast fetching some forgotten item :)

    I’ve celebrated it as an unmarried girl with my sisters and mother since childhood. So no I never saw any connection with patriarchy. It’s an invocation of and celebration of Goddess Lakshmi Devi, and performed by those who seek to attract everything positive like good health, long life, good fortune, good luck and prosperity and wealth into their lives. Even the Katha doesn’t mention Charumati’s husband at all!
    I disagree with those who say it’s patriarchal because you have to follow the husbands family tradition while performing it. While that may be true for them in their specific situation it’s not universally true. My h’s family doesn’t have this tradition yet I perform the puja every year. Why do I do it? Because I like to. It’s nice to remind myself of these things once a year and I really get a mental and spiritual boost from doing it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022

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