Who is going to accept her?

Sampada Sapkota
Posted June 6, 2021 from Nepal
Image source: Google

"You know what Sampu, a week ago, an awful incident took place in my relatives' circle. A couple got married at the time of COVID and the groom died on the fourth day.

OMG! That's terrible!! That's so unfair!! May such thing never ever happen with anybody again!!

Yeah, Who's gonna accept the girl now?

WHAT? THAT WAS SO RUDE! WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

That's the society! I mean, which new guy is going to accept her? She isn't going to have a normal marriage now."

 

Well, one fine evening after my dinner, I was texting one of my close guy-friends and we were talking about some silly and some casual stuffs. And all of a sudden he said this!!

I was startled! I ran out of words. I could not think about anything and just went blank for a while. After I regained some alertness, the first thing I did was I blocked him! Maybe my feminine and teen ego together made me block him? First of all, he is a well-educated person and is definitely old enough to realize what he is saying. Okay, so, a person who belongs to a real good background comes to me and says, "Who is going to accept a girl?" And when I try to interrupt, he blames it all upon 'The Society'.

How paradoxical is this? I cannot figure out where to start from! While the youth today are supposed to be modern and civilized, you still encounter such people with backward mentality. A guy, who is supposed to be educating the unprivileged on such matters is himself talking about the acceptance of a widow? I was astounded! Does she need to be accepted?? Why?? Did she commit any crime? She can still rock everything!!! She can still do whatever she wants and be with whoever she wants!! What on earth does 'New Guy' and 'Normal Marriage' mean?? She can't be limited!! 'The Society' can't limit her from doing whatever she wants! She has all the right to do whatever she wants and she is not at all to be blamed for whatever happened! I got so enraged at the beginning. But then, I got down to ponder about how ironic it is!

 Well, I must consider myself fortunate for belonging to an aware family and I have barely been talked about my limitations on the basis of my gender or even about these patriarchal systems. I would simply hear, watch or acknowledge such things from optimists and empowered social activists through different social media, so, I was really content in myself and had never speculated about it from such perspective. So, I began researching online. And most importantly, I got out of my self-content periphery and began to realize the things happening around me. Everything seemed so different now!

First of all, this made me think about how my elder dad (my dad's elder brother) put tika to us before my 80-year-old widowed grandmother. Isn't the oldest member in the family supposed to put tika first? It hit me so hard when I realized that, there might still be some people who believe the widows to be the carriers of back luck! Some people in the traditional societies might even blame upon the girl saying she had brought all that misfortune to the family! And there might be some others who are not going to consider her 'pure' anymore! She might be labelled 'impure' in many religious works and auspicious occasions. She might be restricted on many occasions just because her husband died. On top of her suffering, she is likely to get tortured and traumatized. Her red and other colorful dresses might be seized and all other indices of a married woman such as sindoor, bangles, and ornaments might be snatched. She might as well get forced to wear white clothes to mourn upon the death of her husband. In some cases, she might not even be allowed to remarry. 'The society' might determine the rest of her life. On top of everything, it's so distressing to imagine how much more she might have to suffer during this COVID pandemic. The pandemic has itself seized so much of freedom and comfort and besides that, she might have to go through something similar to what they call hell-on-earth. Let alone the evil masculinities that will be attempting to achieve and assault her!

There is a dual environment in Nepal. In the city side, around where I live, there is no such adverse impact and biasness among the people. In the society where I live, the widowed woman are not really distinguished from the rest. They are respected and treated equally as any other women. In fact, I have come across some women who got back to their usual routines after their husbands had died. However, the condition on the country areas might be pathetic! I found this article really relatable in context of the country areas.

 https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/prakreeti-sapkota/posts/91033

Well, blocking him wasn't the best thing to do! I was so confused upon how to react that I instantly decided to get out of the situation. I was agitated to get such response from a young guy. I have always believed that humans are evolving which means we need to make efforts to make it happen. If we move on with all the same instructions that our elders taught us without trying to perceive them from our perspective and trying to modify, remould, improvise or make adjustments to it, then what makes us different from those who lived in the unprivileged era? He might be living in such society doesn't mean that he needs to accept everything exactly how his society has taught him. With so much ignorance among the educated, where are we leading? Nevertheless, I am not at all ready to accept how he interpreted the incident! I do not at all believe upon this tag of 'impurity' and 'acceptance' people put upon a widow. However, I am really confused upon how I can play my part in the best way so that we can educate such mentalities!!

This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 21

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jomarieb.earth
Jun 06
Jun 06

Dear Sampada,
This post/story is very profound. It is another wake up call for women to own their destiny and fate, and not leave it in the empty hands and minds of the ignorant, and educated fools. Thank you for sharing this event and your point of view. Seeing this story from your vantage point sheds light. You can do something very simply for all women. You can ask your guy friend to read your post and talk to you about it. This is where hope turns into action and change. And I know hope is in your heart, and change is in your spirit. Go girl! Shed some light on a dark spot in someone's heart who will listen to you.
Hugs...JoMarie

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 12
Jun 12

Hii JoMarie,
How are you doing, dear?
Thank you for reading my post and taking your time to encourage me. Yeah, I did provide him the link and tried explaining it all. He does not still seem very accepting. However, I believe that he's gonna understand and perceive it well over time.
Thanks dear sis, yes, with all the powerful sisters here supporting and encouraging me, hope I'll be able to make a difference!
Warm regards,
Sampada Sapkota

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 07
Jun 07

Dear Sampada,
I'm so glad that you wrote about this. The teaching of boys by men, and the insistence of men that they are to be the ones with money, paid work, is what continues to be taught generation to generation. This treatment of old women who are no longer doing the work, and who should be respected and honoured, needs to be changed, and could, in one generation. But the teaching men that they have this right to dominate, continues. "Nevertheless, I am not at all ready to accept how he interpreted the incident!" I love your strong message. This is what we need! Women strong enough to challenge this made up lie. Keep noticing and speaking out, dear sister. You are already creating change. Keep writing, let us know how you are doing and what you are figuring out. Finding the courage to tell it like it is, is a giant step forward.

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 12
Jun 12

Hii Tamarack,
How are you doing, dear?
Yeah, it's so agitating to get reminded of the old patriarchal systems time and again by such people. Where the people are continuously adopting new and modern patterns, getting more civilized, the mottos of gender equality are cherished, there are still such mentalities who are not ready to accept the change.
Thank you, dear sis. We are the new generation, we need to raise voice if we need a change. Therefore, I'm always going to speak up in every occasion, whenever and wherever, me and my gender is imposed with any kind of trial of suppression. Again, thank you for your motivation.
Stay safe!
Warm regards,
Sampada Sapkota

Nini Mappo
Jun 08
Jun 08

Dear Sampada,
First, I will just say that I am still chuckling that you blocked your friend for his ignorance lol. The tech and communication world is forever fascinating! But I hear your indignation, it is quite insensitive and ignorant thing to say, but I also wonder whether his comment was informed not so much because the woman is a widow, but because her husband died within 4 days after marrying her.

He might have been speaking his own fears while assuming that everyone has the same fears as him. What I mean is, Some people are deeply superstitious, and might consider such a spouse whether a male of a female, as 'bad luck', fearing that if they marry him or her, they might also die. And it is not only in your country, it is human to be afraid of strange phenomenon.
I am not excusing him here, but I found myself wondering what you might have discovered if lets say this was a face to face conversation and you had asked him to defend his point of view.
Of course, I admit that my comment is very ignorant. I don't know anything about widowhood in Nepal, rules of purity/impurity, and what it means to be a widow vs a widower.
I mean, I don't even know what 'putting tika' means. (I only know of 'Chicken Tikka Masala, but I doubt that is what you refer to here, haha). So I don't have the whole picture, but I do agree that being educated does not equate to being open minded and other-aware, and you have a fantastic opportunity to change that in your friend and perhaps his friends. We have to change men's assumptions about women, because only women can change how they are viewed by men...topple the age of traditions and inject new ones in their communities. Makes me glad to hear the passion in your story. Go girl!!

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 13
Jun 13

Hii Nini,
How are you doing, dear?
Haha, yes, it is! And that was the most that I could do at the very instant. Well, indeed he was referring to those superstitious beliefs and also to many others because of which people tend to create the tag of 'acceptance' and other cruel terms like 'purity' upon the victimized ones. Besides, I think that, calling it a 'human tendency' is more like embracing those superstitions once again because they are both, somehow, based on assumptions and paranormal claims, without any solid proofs or reasonings. In fact, I believe that it is where the base of superstition actually lies. Yes, such explanation can never be an excuse to avoid an apology for your flaws.
Well, 'Putting Tika' is our Nepalese culture; often associated with the Hindu religion. 'Tika' is actually a sacred substance prepared by mixing rice grains in red holy powder and is offered by the elders to the young ones during festivals. Chicken Tikka, however, is a food....haha..
Thank you for taking your time to write this and encourage me. Yeah, we need to keep on raising voices if we want a change for real.
Warm regards,
Sampada Sapkota

Beth Lacey
Jun 08
Jun 08

You are highlighting yet another way women are held down and mistreated. There must be profound cultural change- starting with men leaders to make these horrible practices be discontinued

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 13
Jun 13

Hii Beth,
How are you doing, dear?
Undoubtedly dear sis! It would be much easier to make a difference if men co-operated to raise the voice together with women in such sensitive matters.
Warm regards,
Sampada Sapkota

Susu Mohamed
Jun 09
Jun 09

Dear Sampada,

i loved your story in my experience what happened to my self The widows she has rights to get what other people gets, I am a widow to be proud what I am, I say no to what I do not want.
when my husband was died before 8 years they informed me to marry his old brother by force I rejected and started caring my kids Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests.
Regards,
suu

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 13
Jun 13

Hii Susu,
How are you doing, dear?
Thank you for reading!
Yeah, dear sis, every other woman has the same rights regardless of her academic, marital, economic, or whatever background. Everybody needs to accept and embrace this fact and treat them respectfully.
I'm so sorry to hear about his demise. May the departed soul rest in peace in heaven! Moreover, I really appreciate your confidence sis, your choice and your voice were indeed tough! Your children are immensely fortunate to have a strong and bold mother like you!!
My power to you!
Hugs,
Sampada Sapkota

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 09
Jun 09

Hi Dear Sisters,
Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I was really agitated because of the incident and couldn't decide what to do! I did not even want to talk to that guy ever again about this, I was really upset. But with all of your motivation, I finally gathered up the courage to talk to him after ignoring it all for a few days. I have just talked to him and tried explaining everything. I even provided him the link of this article.
He was not again ready to accept his flaws, I tried so hard! But yes, he talked from an optimistic point of view as well. Though he tried to prove that he meant to talk about the 'society' over and over again and did not mind explaining about 'New guy' 'Normal marriage', he did talk about some positive aspects. In the meanwhile, he even talked about some constructive perceptions, I hope he applies them to his life the same way he talked. We discussed about it for hours, and I believe I have done my best to make him realize. Perhaps, he needs some more time to process what we talked about. Therefore, I hope and pray that he takes time to rethink about our conversation and grasps it all. And honestly, I realized how tough and distressing it is to try and explain it to someone when they are not ready to acknowledge it. I did my best and I'm relieved but also stressed.
I'm sorry for my late response to the comments!
Again, thank you dear sisters, your sweet words did help!
Much love,
Sampada

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Jun 11
Jun 11

Greetings Sampada,
it is refreshing to read your story and have you as a educating voice to speak your truths in relating to this man who is unfortunately keeping old outdated cultural ignorance alive. Maybe he himself does not realize his own foolish ways of thinking. We have big hope in the future especially with our youth nowadays to be the entrepreneurs of CHANGE they want to SEE and BE!
To educate others is indeed a challenge because it is thousands of years of entrenced beliefs and behaviors to overcome. I myself work and live in Africa and it's not easy but we are making progress step by step.
Stay strong and keep educating,
all the success to you,
Mama Queen

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 13
Jun 13

Hii Sheba,
How are you doing, dear?
Thank you so much for reading this and taking your time to encourage me!
Yeah, my indignation rose to the peak when I got such response from a youth, who's supposed to be a future leader. And what annoys me even more is the way he is still not accepting that he was interpreting it all in such a wrong way and he is not even bothering to apologize once for his mistake. Such rude sense of masculinity among the youth is even more exasperating. And such mentality is not going to change unless we begin to raise stronger voices and educate them.
Yes, it is really tiresome to change someone who has been instilled with such standards since his childhood. However, as it is said, 'Change indeed is painful, yet needful!'
Warm regards,
Sampada Sapkota

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Jun 13
Jun 13

Thanks, my best wishes to you moving forward,
sincerely,
Mama Queen

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 13
Jun 13

You're welcome! ^_^
And thanks again!
Hugs,
Sampada

Change lady
Jun 12
Jun 12

Dear Sampada,
Thank you for sharing your story. It's too sad that people in your community do not respect and value the widows. All the same we are glad that you have opened a new window through World Pulse. It's very important to air out so that like minded organization and people can learn and act. Hopefully the widows will soon get justice.
You are indeed a great advocator for change.
In sisterhood
Change Lady

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 13
Jun 13

Hii Change Lady,
How are you doing, dear?
Thanks for reading my post. Yeah, it's so shameful that such types of backward-mentalities do exist till the date.
Moreover, I shall always continue to raise my voice in every occasion, whenever and wherever I feel as if any threat or any trial of suppression is imposed upon me and my gender.
Regards,
Sampada Sapkota

Change lady
Jun 13
Jun 13

Thank you Sampada you make me more proud to be a woman. With your voice change is evident never relent.
In sisterhood Change Lady.

Sampada Sapkota
Jun 13
Jun 13

I believe that being blessed with a feminine energy is indeed a matter of pride and we always gotta cherish and celebrate it! ^_^
Hugs,
Sampada

Change lady
Jun 13
Jun 13

Hugs too.

Anum Shakeel
Jun 18
Jun 18

Dear Sampada, Very well written and eye catching article. In my opinion, it's more popularized phenomena in Asian countries as western countries don't think in this way that who will marry her.