Friday, October 17, 2008

Today is KarvaChauth

Apparently, today is KarvaChauth...
I didn't know. I did read a couple of posts here and here....

Now, I have nothing against festivals in general - I love dressing up, the food, sweets, the ambiance at home...

Now, Karva Chauth is one festival which I don't approve of. This whole fasting thing to pray for your husband's long life is something I don't get...

I googled the festival and came across some interesting insights - here are some snippets

" Karva Chauth is a fast undertaken by married Hindu women who offer prayers seeking the welfare, prosperity, well-being, and longevity of their husbands. Karva Chauth falls about nine days before diwali on the Kartik ki Chauth some time in October or November. It is the most important fast observed by the women of North India. A woman keeps such a fast for the well-being of her husband, who becomes her protector after she leaves her parents home. Her husband provides her with food, shelter, clothing, respectability, comfort and happiness.

This is indeed a very tough fast to observe as it starts before sunrise and ends after worshipping the moon, which usually rises at about 8.45 p.m. No food or water is to be taken after 4 a.m. or after sunrise. Nowadays, this fast is kept even in modern educated homes, becoming a symbol of the sentiment that a woman has for her husband. "

My objections to this festival are numerous:
- why should the wife only fast and pray for her husband's long life?
(I know lots of men fast along with their wives, but that's not my point here!)

- Why should WE suffer in order to keep the husbands happy?
(You know, staying hungry all day...)

- Why isn't there a festival for men to fast for their wives' long life and happiness?

- I don't understand the willingness to suffer for another person's well being
I mean, when you are sad/unhappy/hungry/cranky, how could the husband be happy??

The stories behind the origin of this festival are interesting and they vary from website to website ;-)
This particular website: http://festivalsofindia.in/KarvaChauth/Katha.asp
has a lot of interesting details about the festival and about other festivals as well if you are curious.

Wikipedia also has an interesting write-up about the same.

I know lots of women who celebrate this festival and some of them are dear friends and I don't interfere or tell them how I feel about the whole deal... I respect their belief and leave it at that...

But, this space is my own and here, I do want to tell that I don't approve of this festival at all

And most importantly, I will not disagree to any argument made pro-Karva Chauth because I personally can't relate to this festival...

But, all this said - I admire people who actually can fast thru the entire day without eating or drinking anything...

9 comments:

Renu said...

I have written a post on a few why's? If interested, visit me:)

rayshma said...

i know a few women who do this. and honestly, i've never thought much about the whys. they fast voluntarily... nobody forces them... so i guess it's an individual decision these days. and well, what can we say... to each his own... :)

Pixie said...

@Renu: Did the visiting bit! and loved your writing :-)
Please do keep visiting here as well :-)

@Rayshma: Yep! So totally agree with that - "To each his own"

Renu said...

Thank u Pixie and yes now u will find me a regular reader here:)

claytonia vices said...

But the whole concept of fasting has been modified these days it seems... I see some ppl eat a lot of potatoes and other dishes with little fibre and all carbs as 'fast food' ROTFL!!!

Renu said...

today science says-potao is not bad for a normal person, rather good and has fibre also:)

churningthewordmill said...

i am all for gender equality... if the woman fasts, her husband shud fast with her. either that or u chuck the fasting all together...
i guess a lot of ppl do it for sentimental value...or simply because they have seen their mothers do it and its a tradition..
mandira

illusionaire said...

I got nothing to contribute here :D

Back in college, some of my friend's North Indian GFs used to fast too for their boyfriends on certain occasions. Is this the same thing? (although your post said it is for married women only)

Seriously I would never be happy or comfortable if a woman I was with started fasting for me!!!!

But then, my main problem though, is to find a woman to be with in the first place, regardless of whether she fasts or not. *GRIN*

nivedithasperceptions said...

Karva Chauth is one festival that hindi movies totally hype! It's a chauvinist festival. I'm kind of against the celebration of "Bheemana amavase" (Gandana pooje)Though it doesn't involve fasting or anything... I mean why doesn't anyone pray for our long life?!