India is a land of traditions, the most magical, unique and oldest cultures, religions and customs. People from diverse religions live in this vast country. India is a land that has fascinated the world with its peacock, snake charmers and elephants on one side. It is a land of festivities and traditions that leave the world in awe with all the colors and pomp. There are some fun rituals prevalent among Indians, Rajasthan with its Dhinga Gavar, in which women have their own fancy dress parades or in the weddings the Juta Churai Rasam, where the groom’s shoes become hostage by the bride’s side, and are released only on being paid a good amount of ransom. There are many such enjoyable rituals and customs. But, again, there are some strange and even harmful customs and rituals. Let’s take a look at some Shocking Rituals in India.
The world dropped the practice of arranged marriages in the 18th century; but India is still going strong with this tradition. Instead selecting their own life partners, everyone else does it that is parents, distant relatives, friends of relatives, etc. besides their own selves’ .Well it is really hard to accept this. While people today are gradually trying to change their ideas for marriages, for some families, yet selecting one’s own partner is a shocking thing that can be done, especially if it is a girl. Religion, Caste, tribe, horoscope Class, etc are the basis on which, the third party finds you the perfect match.
One of the most shocking rituals in India is honour killing. Marriages in India are considered to be more than bringing two people together. It is about the union of two families. More than the nature or personality of a person particular attention is given to ensure that a person does not marry outside his religion, social status caste, community, etc. While the rigidity of such thought has largely diminished but yet, many communities or families are still extremely strict about these things. There are many other things apart from marriage that they are strict about, like what to wear especially girl’s of course, whom to talk to, etc. In case any member of their family goes against the family rules and regulations, they may be disowned, or worse even get killed, by the family for bringing dishonor to the family or community.
Traditionally, at the time of marriage, a family used to say goodbye to their girl with gifts mainly in the form of gold jewellery. This was called Stree-dhan: that means it belongs to woman’s property. However, with time, the practice has changed. Families have started paying dowry in cash, vehicles, properties, and now even providing education, to the groom, as a gratitude for taking responsibility of their daughter. This illegal, shocking rituals is practiced by many people irrespective of their religion in India. It is very demeaning for the woman as her value is measured in terms of money, which puts a great amount of financial pressure on the family. Many brides are tortured or killed for dowry, while their helpless families commit suicide.
It is strange that women are considered a burden in many families under the pressure of dowry. She is also considered to be a threat to the family’s honour by not being pretty or not fair enough or if she gets raped by some perverted beasts who are roaming around. On the contrary boys are considered to be the torch-bearers of the family as they bring dowry. Hence they prefer female feticide, which is nowadays seen in developed cities and in well educated families too. They feed the pregnant lady with herbs which terminates pregnancy or burying her alive.
In India, the legal age of a woman to get married is 18, and that of a man is 21. However, this shocking ritual in India is something that is still practiced, especially in the rural communities throughout the country. It has become an active political issue in the country. The entire focus is kept on underage girls getting married, but we often forget to consider about those underage boys who are too early loaded with responsibility of marriage.
Exorcism by Marriage
Indians believe in spirits, and majority of them do. They are very much superstitious, with many prejudices. Horoscope is very much elaborative in India, with day, date, time, etc taken into consideration, probably even the very nanosecond of birth. Some women have “mangal dosh” in which they are said to endanger the life of her husband. To exorcise her from mangal dosh, the shocking ritual practiced is to get the woman married to a tree. Another way to exorcise her is to get her married to an animal instead of a tree. This senseless ritual is used to get the woman rid of spirits if she is possessed by some evil spirits or if born with a deformity, tooth, cleft lip etc.