Showing posts with label Hijra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hijra. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Are Hijras? What Is The Current Status And Plight Of The Hijra Community In India?

 

Hijra is the name given to a group of male transvestites who have self-castrated as a ceremonial abandonment of their sexuality.

Hijras are often used as gay prostitutes, and they are a well-known aspect of most Indian towns' decadent underbelly.

Their primary social purpose is to sing and dance at homes when a male child is born, however they may also be called upon to perform on other auspicious occasions.

Their presence is thought to confer health and prosperity on the sponsoring family, for which the hijras will demand appropriate compensation.

Their ritual role in connection with births shows a strong association with fertility, and their presence at any function is believed to confer health and prosperity on the sponsoring family, for which the hijras will demand appropriate compensation.

At the same time, the hijras' lives seem to be riddled with contradictions: although being ritually connected with fertility, they are infertile, and their sexuality is nonprocreative.

They are a socially marginalized group with extremely low social standing, despite being connected with auspiciousness and success.

Serena Nanda, Neither Man Nor Woman, 1999, is the only reliable study to yet.

 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.