Thursday, October 8, 2009

The "fast" factor

Karva Chauth, made famous by Indian Movies and soaps isn't as romantic or sweet a day as made out to be. For those who don't know Karva Chauth is the day woman of north Indian communities ( Marwaris, Punjabis, UP-aites) fast for the long lives of their husbands. They don't eat or drink the whole day, there is a get-together of fasting ladies in the evening and they perform a ritual which I have nicknamed "passing the parcel" ans then at night they look at the moon and break their fast by having water and a small bite of something

So basically if a woman does not fast she is looked down upon by the society which is pre-dominantly full of the xy chromosome people who dictate the dos and donts of our society. And Karva Chauth like many other Hindu festivals is purely reflection of the male chauvinism in our world.(One other example is Rakhi and Bhai duuj, where sisters pray for the long lives of their brothers !duh!)

There is nothing romantic about Karva Chauth, it's the woman who keep fasts. I have nothing against fasts. Occasional fasting is supposedly good for health (  I don't know how true that is?) What I have a problem with is the reason for the fast. As if fasting will actually increase the lifespan of the dear hubby ( there would be no widows in our land if that was true) Other communities don't fast, don't their husbands live long ? Do they die premature deaths?

I don't understand the logic behind all this. Is there any?

 Many myths are associated with this day, they are fortunately just myths. Yet woman are superstitious enough to believe that if they stop fasting something terrible will befall their husbands. And if she doesn't fast and something does happen she will be blamed. And so woman fast. And men secretly love it.