Published: | United Kingdom

Are Samithya Veedus (Puberty Ceremonies) Necessary Today?

Is it really necessary to celebrate your daughter's first period in front of 100's of people?
Samithya veedus. What is the point anymore? Why do we need to share the fact a girl has started her period in the first place? Publicly celebrating that your daughter is now a woman. Back in the days, it was to show the girl has reached a point in life where she's ready to get married and to show her off to possible suitors. Girls growing up in today’s Tamil culture probably don’t even actually know what samithya veedus are actually for. They’ve become grand, wedding-like ceremonies to show off, dress up and basically receive gifts and money from people because your daughter has started her PERIOD?
Okay, so obviously no one is gonna get their 10-year-old married now, so what are the reasons for carrying them on today? Keeping culture? How? Dressing your daughter up in sarees, making her stand on a stage, while 100's of people come and eat, to watch your daughter stand on a stage.
You know what has never made sense to me? Our culture and community are very hush-hush about periods, being on them etc., and how you should behave after you’ve become an “adult.” YET they have these grand ceremonies to tell everyone their daughter has had her first period?! And on top, we’re not allowed to go to the temple because we’re considered unclean. I thought we were being celebrated for finally being able to reproduce? All these religious rituals are done to celebrate the ability to reproduce, but we aren’t allowed to go to the temple when we’re on our periods? What?!
How about we start ceremonies for boys too? To show they’ve entered manhood? Once his voice cracks, we should dress him up in a vetti and a nice shirt, make him stand on a stage while everyone stares at him.
Families are spending so much money on grand samithya veedus, which are so public, when personally, I believe these things should be celebrated intimately, if at all. With close family. Why invite 100's of people you barely talk to? Then complain you spent so much money on it? Do you actually do these ceremonies for what they were meant to be for initially?
Parents should educate their children on why these puberty ceremonies happen in the first place and the cultural significance of them. Then ask whether they even want one.

To read more of my relatable content on Tamil/Asian experiences and observations about society, follow @wordsofatamilgirl on Instagram.

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