» 09/18/2012, 00.00
Teej festival honouring women divides Nepal between rich and poor
Because of the economic crisis, only the rich can enjoy the celebration. Women exchange gifts and fast for their husbands' longevity. Local media now report that some women have sold a kidney to get money to buy jewels and the traditional red sari.
(AsiaNews) - The festival of Teej, which sees wives fast in honour of Shiva and
for their husbands' longevity, is dividing Nepali society. Celebrations began
today across the country, but if high caste women mark the occasion with temple
visits and dances where they can show off their clothes and jewellery, working
class women cannot even get a day off.
In many parts of
the country, religious authorities did not inform the public of the date of the
festivity in order to exclude lower castes. And according to Nepalis media, some
women sold a kidney to buy jewels and the traditional red sari in order to participate
"In the past few
years, Teej has become a fashionable event," said Hindu culture expert Govinda
Tandon. However, "Only the country's rich and powerful families can take part. By
contrast, most Nepali women live in poverty and cannot even afford a meal day. This
offends Hinduism and divides society."
According to the
tradition, women wearing a red sari meet to exchange food, clothes and jewels a
day before they fast.
"Only some can
respect religious traditions," said Rima Dahal, a Hindu woman who works for a
construction company in Kathmandu. "If I miss a day of work, no one will feed
my children. There are no festivities for me."
She blames a
corrupt ruling class, one that uses festivities to lead a trendy lifestyle
instead of helping the people.
Rekha Thapa, a
famous Nepali actress, also criticised Teej's commercialisation. On TV, she
said that Hinduism has "divided Nepali society between haves and have-nots."
Nepal : Teej festival, a hymn to the materialism of Hindu women
The celebrations in honor of the goddess Parvati and her marital devotion to Shiva increasingly show the gap between rich and poor. Traditionally, the women, dressed in a red sari , exchange gifts and jewelry, a day before the holy fasting .
Hindu, Muslim and Christian women come out in defence of religious freedom
During celebrations honouring Lord Shiva, Hindu women criticise proposed amendments to the penal code that would ban conversions. For them, such changes reflect the view of rightwing politicians, not all the people.
Hindu women celebrate festival, sing and dance for secular state
The festival of Teej, which includes fasting, fell on the same day Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. The two festivities provide an opportunity to demand a truly secular state in which all religions are respected. Participants also call for an end to political games that have blocked a new constitution so far.
Nepal, in honor of Shiva women gurus can also go naked
Until now, only male gurus could beg without clothes. To avoid speculation and cases of prostitution, the government creates the "ID for devotees." Among the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar, the Mahashivaratri gathers hundreds of thousands of people from Nepal and India.
Nepal: between tradition and modernity, Hindu women celebrate the Teej
The Hindu festival, during which women ask to meet the man of their dreams or to have a happy marriage, has also become an occasion for demanding "greater rights and freedoms". Holiday greetings from Prime Minister Prachanda and President Ram Baran Yadav.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
13/02/2017 CHINA - VATICAN
14/02/2017 UNITED NATIONS - SYRIA
15/02/2017 LEBANON - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.