If you are a Hindu female reading this, you have a clear idea about what menstrual period is like in Nepal.
It usually starts at the tender age of 13 when you are in your secondary school. I know that must of you have felt horrible when you first saw the blood in your underwear. Some of you must have been in the classroom scared of others' reaction. Some of you must have run to your mother. The reactions from your friends, teachers, and parents must have startled you. Not only you but I have faced the terrible reactions too.
One mistake we commit is that we obey what our parents tell us to do during our menstrual period. We are not allowed to carry on several normal life activities. As a result, we don't go to the kitchen. We don't cook. We don't worship the gods. Our prayer becomes inauspicious. We become secluded from everyone. We can't go anywhere for at least first 5 days. When our hormones change, puberty kicks off menstruation for the first time. We can't even go to school and abstain from the education. I had to follow a 7-day rule.
I wonder how we become impure at that time of the month when people believe that even the pickle dies with our touch. Also, they believe plant dies with our touch. And, yes we can't touch the water resources. We turn into untouchable, abnormal human being. Our touch is so impure and unhygienic according to everyone around us. And, oh yes, we can't even attend the wedding ceremonies at that time of the month and we must follow the rules. I have heard some of you having medicine to push the date of the bleeding for such religious functions. So much of anxiety, isn't it? It's tough because some of us have tried to break through by hiding our periods.
The false belief that menstrual blood contaminates spirituality has harmed us. But, those who belong to other religions aren't contagious when they bleed.
Are we so different than all other females? Well, we all have a list of complaints. We even try to compromise by reading the infuriating news about 'Chhaupadi Pratha'. Although this tradition faced a ban by the Nepal's Supreme Court in 2005, we all are resisting the fact that girls are banished during their menstruation to tiny huts with no proper sanitation and ventilation that takes their lives every year.
But now, we are supposed to stop complaining and start acting. It's high time to break down the taboo and tell the world that we are auspicious and pure whether menstruating or not. There is a Hindu myth that regards menstruating woman as a goddess. It also defends that they are not touched because they are so pure. My question is that why does a goddess has to die every year in a rustic hut of her 'purity' termed by Hindu myth? Why are we goddesses forced to follow the rules that make our lives troublesome? Isn't the notion of whether to get touched or not during her 'purity' the sole right of a woman? Isn't it her choice? Thus, the idea is paradoxical, contradictory and impractical.
Now we have to question and teach. It's time to teach our family members and society about sanitary pads, and tampon. We must educate others about protective measures which keep us hygienic.
Let's teach them that whether we are menstruating or not, in both cases we are touchable, pure and not contaminated.
Well, it's our choice in first hand. It's unacceptable if anybody in the community discards the food touched by a bleeding female. It is total disrespect towards our precious biological phenomenon if any of the people around us refuse to share the same carpet. It’s disrespect towards the fact of being a female and towards the motherhood. It's high time we educate our community that we are not abnormal during our menstrual period and bleeding is normal.