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Another Fast!

Today there was another fast, Ahoi Ashtami, in the run up to Diwali, the high point of the holiday season, the Festival of Lights. In order to get into the spirit of things, I joined in. My mother-in-law tells me that this fast is for the welfare of the children. Well, that's a good reason to fast. But I believe that the real reason for this fast is for the sons. I am not quite sure whether it is for the welfare of the sons, or to get sons.

Well, I've already got two sons. And I do pray for their welfare and success in life every day. And my daughters too. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing about my children without my daughters. I must say, that from what I have seen, Indians love their daughters very much. Sons represent the wealth of the family because they traditionally stay with the family for life and take responsibility for the protection of the parents in old age, and safeguard the family property for coming generations. Girls, on the other hand, have to be looked after and supported. Even, in certain cases, for years after marriage. The traditional thinking is that when a daughter gets married, her loyalty is transferred to her in-laws' house. Traditional mindsets are very difficult to dismantle. They are so ingrained.

People pray for sons, not because they don't want daughters, but because they want sons and all the advantages they bring. And if they are not so happy about the birth of daughters, it is only because if they have a daughter they want to do the very best for her. They fear that they might not be able to do so.

Fear is at the root of many social evils such as preference for sons. I really do hope that useless traditions which have lost their meaning may disappear, and give people a chance to enjoy the wonderful gift that is a daughter, free from tension and worry!

Comments

  1. These traditions are so interesting. Boys do tend to be favoured a bit more here too, they are a bit over-indulged. Girls on the other hand seem to see their role as being to support the males of the family. It is changing of course and certainly the majority of girls are given the same opportunities for education and career opportunities as boys. Overall though all children are cherished and protected and a joy to their families.

    Another fast? This must be doing you some physical good, as well as the spiritual intention?

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  2. Fasting is good to cleanse the body of toxins.I guess you got used to these customs......so,good luck with the fast.

    Regards girls vs boys,I'd say from what I know that boys are prefered here,cos,the custom of dowry is still alive and huge amounts of money flow out of the family.Sad but, atleast some families(girl's) are saying NO to dowry.

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  3. I would give an arm and a leg for a daughter.

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  4. Gaelikaa, Another day of fasting? Don't walk over any grating or you might well disappear. LOL!

    I love having a daughter. I always said that I gave her life and not a life sentence of looking after me, mind you I was well pleased to have her here with me for the last few weeks as I recovered from surgery.

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  5. GAelikaa, what a interesting post. This is my first time here, and I really appreciate seeing your perspective. :)

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  6. You are right Gaelika! There are many outdated traditions which we follow here in India and yes we require a change in this. But where do you draw the line??....As you know....there are various other GOOD practices and customs which the west follow the east...e.g Yoga......and here we look up west and unfortunately follow only the UNWANTED practices...and sadly we ignore all those lot many goodies we can learn from west.....Unlike any other nation we have a very broad and diversified cultures put together....so maybe it takes its time and space to change.....And about the gal child, it was an old thought….I am sure, no educated person would prefer a baby boy just because he brings ‘advantages’ and the fact is …many prefer baby gal as they bring in less ‘disadvantages’ compared to boys. Anyway your posts are interesting and thought provoking as well:)

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  7. Two fasts sandwiched around Speed. Sorry, couldn't resist ...

    These traditions are very interesting, especially as they differ from ours in America. Or, at least in our household. Our daughter is pretty much viewed as being as free to find her path and fend for herself as her brother is. Our biggest concern along those lines is that a man is physically stronger than a woman and you worry about physical attack on your daughter. Probably misplaced with today's gun duels, where physical strength isn't the key.

    Outside of that, we delight in our daughter's autonomy. Of the two - she has been far away the more responsible, LOL.

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