Pregnant Women and the Nepali Culture

Nepal specific discussions on culture, spirituality and the arts
Ganesha
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:51 am
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Pregnant Women and the Nepali Culture

Postby Ganesha » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:05 pm

I was wondering why pregnant women (Hindu) cannot go to the temple (I think after about six months of pregnancy), are considered impure after childbirth such that they cannot be touched, the baby cannot be touched before the 11th day and in many areas of Nepal, the mother and kid are left to live in a nearby shelter with nothing but straw to sleep on. (Makes me wonder how clean we Nepalis are.)

I also wonder why pregnant women cannot eat anything beyond ghee, bhat and "jhol" (another simple boiled concoction containing spices and even more ghee). Though Green Pumpkin, "Pharsi ko munta", "Lasun/Pyaj", "Pidaloo" is consciously avoided in the mom's diet, she is not given much green to eat either. (Is said to be "unhealthy" to the kid - So then what about the mom?!)

I wonder why moms cannot walk or exercise, why they have to lie down and sleep all the time. Why they cannot take a bath, why the kids cannot be bathed and that why they both cannot be allowed to move out of their dark, damp room smelling of "jwanoo" and cooked mustard oil.

And what is particularly interesting above all is that I have seen some or all of this happening in the homes of doctors, nurses, engineers!

At the moment though, I am not concerned about what can we do in response. I am curious to know as to how these customs came into being, who turned them into these "rules" and importantly, what did the enforcers achieve after successful implementation of these "rules" / customs onto the masses.
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kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Pregnant Women and the Nepali Culture

Postby kazi » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:39 am

I am not sure of the reasons, but most often I have found that there is some motivation. I think considering pregnancy impure is a degradation of and culture that facilitated pregnant and early nursing mothers to have their off time and get enough food, rest and personal time with the baby.
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"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.


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