Being A WOMIRL In A Hindu Society… And In The 21st Century

WORMIRL:  a word formed by combining two separate words “woman” and “girl”. Definition: Neither fully a girl nor a woman

Pronounced as: WHOM–URL

Being a womirl would mean having a skeptical brain, but an intelligent one. For me, it was entirely based on having a skeptical brain about intelligence. Which meant that whatever I did or still do were questioned by myself and to myself, a lot. And through my years of being a womirl, I have realized that it is completely acceptable to feel that way and it is also okay not to feel okay. Being a womirl is hard, but only if we make it hard. Despite that, there are certain factors that have made me obligated to make my life a wee bit harder. And that is growing up and being raised in a Hindu society. But don’t get me wrong, I completely respect my religion, it’s just that there are a few flaws in it.

You will be surprised by how little I know about the birth and history of Hinduism. I was brought up away from my birthplace for at least 6 years and I have been getting my education in an English-medium, co-ed school with students that are also struggling religion-wise. Not that they are confused or anything, it is just that we aren’t brought up in the traditional way, with bhajans, sanskrit classes and puja ceremonies every Monday. The best way I can describe our religious background is a blend of contemporary Hinduism and influences from old traditions as far as our grandparents at the most (we have kinda forgotten about what our great grandparents used to do).

Our daily/general behavioural practices  as Hindus would be, respecting elders, giving dakshina, not using the left hand during sacred works, taking off shoes while entering temples and houses, folding legs while sitting, not contaminating other people’s food (more complex than it sounds), not throwing things, giving and receiving with both hands, not pointing the finger, having humility, considering guests as “god” and a lot more related to footwear and respect. As you can see, we have a lot of morals to follow. And all of these were taught to us ever since we were born. I hope you also noticed that there are a lot of rules regarding respect. We are very respectful towards each other and that varies a lot from other religions. This is to say that, even when there are codes of respect in other religions, ours are true, a bit more complex. Hinduism is also the oldest religion, and I think it is fair to say that we also have the oldest traditions and customs. A major characteristic of Hinduism is modesty and our “reserved nature”. Growing up in a Hindu society means not having the freedom or prescription from parents to go out late at night, or on dates, or have too much “fun” with friends. I know this sounds weird and even funny at some point, but growing up in a country with the most number of Hindus among the world’s’ Hindu population stands true to all of those restrictions. We are not comfortable with certain aspects that GLOBALIZATION has brought to almost all countries of the world. However, media and technology have evolved so much, to the point where we have changed in a lot of cultural ways.ஐ


Therefore, being a WOMIRL + a Hindu would be a bit of a challenge in quite some cases. However, I am not complaining, but if I contemplate this situation of mine for long enough, I do really think lives of every Hindu WOMIRL would agree with me. It is not about the religion, it is about reconciling religious obligations and our future, which almost 60% of coming-of-age girl population in my country would go through. In simple terms, we are taught a lot about respect, morals from legends, traditional customs (most of which would have to do with females getting married) and humility. But as we enter the stage where one goes to school, we spend 8 hours a day in a modern society. I wouldn’t want to go in detail with the “modern” part because that would not be fair. So thus, it is all about balance. Balancing your beliefs, your traditions, your hope and dreams.

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