Do you know anything else about India other than the Taj Mahal, the elephants, or the sacred cows? It has become customary to see India as a somewhat caricatured place and the truth is that it is much more than that. Just like Spain is not just about paella and flamenco, this Asian country has a rich culture and a great tradition that often goes unnoticed. To understand the role of women in this country, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of this place. It is a country with many years of history, but with a very recent democratic tradition. They barely achieved independence in 1947, which makes Indian society quite complex.
Indian Culture: What is it like to be a Woman?
Being a woman in India is not easy at all. Her role in society is totally secondary and they are often perceived as an economic burden for families.
While men can play, study and work, they have to content themselves with taking care of housework. Issues like arranged marriages and dowry are the order of the day there. It is the parents who choose the future husband of their daughters. Age and financial position are determining factors when looking for suitors. In this way, it is normal that the couple do not know or have seen each other before the wedding. The dowry also plays a fundamental role in marriages. This concept refers to the amount of wealth that parents give to their future son-in-law in compensation for agreeing to marry his daughter. And not only that, the parents must also bear the wedding expenses. When the dowry offered is of little value, there is a risk that no one will want to marry the woman and she automatically becomes a spinster, which is a real humiliation for parents. Also, if any woman is unlucky enough to be a widow, it is much worse. Widows are considered responsible for the misfortune of their husbands and treated as property by their in-laws. Remember that they become part of them when they get married. So the poor are banished to places like Vrindavan where they are condemned to live in the worst conditions, surviving on handouts. However, fortunately, things are changing, especially in large cities, where it is increasingly common to see women in professions or even in the armed forces.