Brown girl poem

This poem is for all the amazing Nepali women! In fact – it’s for any woman who has ever been taught to feel shame just for being born a girl. For any woman who has been told that you:

-should not smile and laugh in public;
-should not expose your legs and shoulders because it will lure men to attack you;
-should not go outside at night;
-should not go into a place of worship or receive a blessing because you are bleeding for human life to be born;
-should not socialise with males;
-should not have sex before marriage;
-should not work because you’re a housewife and mother first; and
-should not speak up and have a voice, even in your own home.

Instead, as a good girl, you should:

-lower your eyes to the ground when you speak to a man;
-have lighter skin as what man will want your darker flesh;
-study hard but not be too intelligent as what man will not want to marry someone who is brighter than he;

And, lastly, that you should just be less because you weren’t born a man.

Shame is a powerful thing, don’t let someone else silence you or change you just because they have a problem with your fire, brains and beauty. You are all magnificent 🙂


This is the poem by Pavana and art featured on the berlin-artparasites art website:

berlin-artparasites | Facebook
berlin-artparasites shares compelling artwork that alters the way we live, love, work, play, think…

Brown girl
lower your gaze.
Didn’t anyone tell
you that modesty lies
within the eye of
the beholder?

Brown girl
study harder,
put the stories away.
What man would want
to marry a girl with a
head so heavy with clouds?

Brown girl
be quieter.
Have you ever heard
a flower bloom?

Brown girl
stop giggling.
Laughter is for
shameless women.

Brown girl
smile more.
Haven’t we given
you everything
you’ve ever needed?

Brown girl
stay out of the sun.
Keep your mouth shut.
Head down. Fire smoldered.

Brown girl
we pray you have a son.

Brown girl is witchcraft.
Brown girl is wicked.
Brown girl holds the
power to heal.

Brown girl
you are smoke from
an incense stick.

Brown girl,
brown girl.
You were always
meant to disappear. —Pavana

artwork by Dadu Shin from Brooklyn,. Source:

This entry was posted in Intercultural Relationship. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Brown girl poem

  1. pooja says:

    Such a heartfelt poem! I no way consider a shame that I was born a woman in a conservative country, but I know a lot of Nepali women do because of all those things mentioned in the poem so beautifully. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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