The crap parts of Nepali culture

I see stories like this and I can’t help but despise some parts of Nepali culture:

A girl died in Nepal’s far-west after being buried under a landslide in a cow-shed, where she had been confined while menstruating, local media reported Thursday.

In the western districts of the country, girls are confined to sheds during menstruation, in a local tradition called chaupadi. They are forbidden to visit temples or enter the house during their period and are made to sleep in the cow-sheds.

Kumari Basnet, 16, was killed in a remote village in Jajarkot district on Monday night, when the shed was buried under a landslide, The Kathmandu Post daily reported.

Women are considered impure during menstruation in the Hindu tradition.

In western Nepal, many women following the chaupadi tradition die due to infections or attack by animals. Some also fall victim to rapists because the sheds are sometimes located at a distance from houses.

Source: DPA. Read more:

I am told many of those who follow these beliefs are uneducated people from remote regions of Nepal but as I have shared with you before, it’s also something that happens in educated, modern families. It happens in Australia (not being confined to a shed but certainly women I know of do not enter temples or take “tikka” when they have their period because women are considered ‘impure’ at this time.)

You would think we are living in the 15th century. But no, this is the 21st century and it’s still happening.

On a whole, women will always be seen as inferior if beliefs and practices like this continue.

Girls should not be treated like animals because they have something as natural as their period, something which gives life, and without which none of us would be here.

Society can only change if people stand up for what is right. Young women and men should put an end to this by speaking up and saying ‘this is not right’.

Like if you agree!

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25 Responses to The crap parts of Nepali culture

  1. Dear God that’s dreadful, but please take some consolidation in the fact that not all Hindu’s practice this ‘Salem Witch Hunt’ lifestyle. I’ve never heard of this impure nonsense & I’ve lived here for years, is this specifically a Nepali thing?

  2. lkafle says:

    thnaks for this initiative that is still haunting women of nepal. even educated phds still think its an offence to god when they touch a man during menstruation hehe

  3. I can imagine that a want of sanitary pads contributes to this. I remember hearing about this guy in tamil nadu that set up a girls school that made sanitary pads and was lobbying for installing a type of vending machine at the schools so girls dont miss out on school once a month due to all this. Maybe that is part of the problem, that girls dont have acess to sanitary pads or homemade equivalents or other alternatives.

  4. This doesn’t only happen in remote villages and practiced by uneducated Indians. It happens as far as my knowledge goes, in every household of India. The girl might not be asked to go and live in a shed, but she is surely kept away from doing a lot of things including sleeping on the bed. Such illogical practices cannot be shunned unless women speaks for themselves and question the logic behind age old practices.
    The practice in earlier times had the objective of letting the female rest by not letting her do work. However, with time it has totally changed into another unreasonable exercise by the patriarchal society.

  5. Beatrix says:

    As someone who has lived & worked in women’s health for 10 yrs in Nepal and India I firmly agree with you. Perhaps you didn’t see the numerous young women working as prostitutes in the massage parlors & ‘spas’ or walking the streets nightly (Yes, even in little towns like Pokhara at Lakeside)? Nor the young women ‘sold’ by family members into ‘human trafficking’ (I’ve see them as young as 9 yrs old). Women are still unfortunately ‘chattel’ in most of Nepal.

  6. Jessie says:

    Hi there, just happen to see ur blog by coincidence. I too am seeing a Nepali guy. I’m from Singapore and we met in Malaysia where he is working. Theres loads of ups and downs along the way but im glad we pulled thru. We have been together for 15 months. It’s a long distance relationship though, we love each other alot and I am excited I’m going over to Nepal in Jan 2013 to meet his family and to tour around. I hope I will enjoy myself as much as you did!! Cheers! Keeping a positive mind!!!

  7. kay in india says:

    That’s terrible 😦 These are such pointless practices–it’s terrible that people actually die because of them. I do agree that even certain ‘educated’ portions of Nepali society practice these things, but I wouldn’t use the word educated so liberally. Always compare the education of the woman to the man in the family to assess whether the family is truly educated/modern. As in, if the woman has a 12th grade education and the man has a PhD, I wouldn’t consider the family very modern. A lot of times, especially in patriarchal societies, it’s women who reinforce misogynistic cultural rules as opposed to men.

    It also makes me really grateful that I came from a part of Nepali society that didn’t practice any of this. But then again, I was rather privileged. My great grand father was the ambassador to the UK during the Rana rule when most Nepalese citizens were prohibited from going out of the country. My mother’s father was the ambassador to the US and a pretty high ranking government official for the rest of his life. It definitely wouldn’t be fair to say that I’m a person of ‘average’ Nepali middle class origin.

    I live in India and I haven’t heard of any of this–but once again, the part of Indian society that I live in is a very small percentage of the entire population.

    • gedeymanche says:

      You were privileged. Your people were with the Ranas preventing normal citizens from going to school. Instead of thinking of such times as dark ages in Nepal’s history, you celebrate it calling your family privileged. Rana’s were almost like how slave masters were to Africans, dont pride yourself on a family that became ‘privileged’ on the cost of rest of Nepal. Because of families like yours, we still have illiteracy and ignorance, your family sent their kids to Canada not by personal achievement but by shutting the rest of country’s development. Think twice about what your family and other Ranas and their supporters did the rest of Nepal including my family and then only brag about your family. You quality to be called an idiot by any standard always bragging about how educated, rich and modern your family is. Ripping off the rest of Nepal for your own benefits. Now you know how you ended up in Canada and how many families your people might have ruined, how many people your Rana and their supported killed.

  8. Gaunledream says:

    In my humble opinion, it is bit more like the influence of Hindu culture. There are other culture, where this is not the practice in general. But, of course, the situation is changing gradually – though you said that there are still some sort of such practices in Nepali society in Australia, I believe that the change is being realized more than ever before.

  9. Padmini says:

    I know a Nepali girl that is from KTM. She says she can’t enter a kitchen or take tikka while menstruating but viewed it as a holiday from cooking and dishes. As for tikka, her thoughts were more like, “eh, i’ll get it next time around.” She seemed very supportive of the idea. She does come from an admitted liberal family thought.

  10. Shilu says:

    we still live in such stereotypes and i think it will take longer time period for the concept of periods to change here in Nepal. Far western region of Nepal is deprived of proper education and change in social system is still a dream !! Hope to see many changes in our socila diaspora very soon. thankx for the awakening post.

  11. Avish says:

    F*king masochist culture.
    Education will change this, they say. I hope so.

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    This piece of writing posted at this site is actually fastidious.

  13. dhan says:

    Hi casey,
    In my opinion the thing you mentioned is partially true because even in Nepal mostly mongoloid people such as gurung, magar, tamang, sherpa etc don’t necessarily follow all these cultures. As I have seen my own sisters never had to stay away during menstruation and never seen any of my relatives doing so. Mostly, it is followed by Hindus of Nepal. Besides gender based discrimination, a group of people in society are considered of lower class and untouchable known as “Dalits” is also crap part of Hindiusm. Sad but true. You can see such cultures in India too where there are hindus.
    @ No disrespect intended to any religion 🙂

  14. Nepali Laurey says:

    Why are you so much after temples and Hindu practices? Women during menstruation shouldn’t be allowed to enter in temple. Why do you want to change that? A Mlekchhya preaching about what a Hindi should do and what a Hindu shouldn’t do is definitely a ushering of a Kaliyug. Why can’t you let us alone without poking your nose on us?
    “Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:32, 19:9 & Luke 16:18).——-is this good?
    Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
    35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
    If you want to find out anti-feministic practice in Bible, you won’t have to try hard.
    While it is your personal thing that you have married a Nepali but please don’t make your union a license to murder a Hindu Religion.
    In christianity, you are doomed just because you are a female but in Hinduism you are doomed when you are menstruating. Tell me who is more practical and less hypocrite given the socio-economic context?

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