"In this photo my Mum is giving me away at my wedding-a custom that is reserved for men"
Read on to know why this picture of Hernoor Grewal is breaking the internet!
We Indians might claim that as a society we have become quite modern and progressive, especially when it comes to women, but the truth is far from that.
Till today, the crucial customs and rituals that are an essential part of a wedding or other celebrations are performed by the males of the family, and not the females. Reason? We are too scared to let our women take the lead and defy stereotypes and there is no way we are going to let go of these age-old gender-biased cultural norms.
However, it just needs one story to bring about change and the one story that is breaking the internet today is that of Hernoor Grewal, who shared a strong picture of her wedding where her mother is seen giving her away to the groom, a custom that is mostly performed by the male of the family.
Our Dad left the scene some years ago...
Part of The Pink Ladoo Campaign, the picture has already got more than 50, 000 likes and around 16,772 shares. Read on to know her story.
"In this photo my Mum is giving me away at my wedding - a cultural custom that is reserved for men. I am 1 of 5 girls, we don't have a brother and our Dad left the scene some years ago. If your father isn’t present at your wedding, it’s expected that you will find some other suitable male to take part," writes Hernoor.
She further says that when her dad left them, the community was quick to blame her mother entirely, which is normally the case with many other Indian married women in India, who are left by their husbands in the lurch.
"When my dad left, the community were quick to blame our Mum entirely. Similarly, my sisters and I have had to endure a life time of "don't worry, maybe you'll be blessed with a brother in your next life" type comments. This treatment culminated in a family being uninterested in having my sister's hand in marriage for their son on the basis that our family had too many girls," she writes.
However, the one person who stood strong in these trying times and who raised them single-handedly without any bias was her own mother.
Read on to know why the women of Hernoor's family decided it was time for a change!
"Our Mum stood strong in the face of the gossip-making aunties and uncles in our community even though she was probably crumbling and devastated on the inside. She raised us to believe that we do not need to depend on a man for our happiness or emotional/financial stability, and that we should learn to stand on our own two feet as early as possible, and as much as possible," writes Hernoor.
Seeing so much gender-bias and a general hatred towards the women of her family for no fault of theirs, Hernoor and her other family members decided it was time to break the norms.
"That's why we pushed to have the women in our family take on the roles during the wedding that the men 'traditionally' would have, and we also try to practise this sentiment in our daily lives," she writes.
Hernoor hopes to provide support for single-parent families and to break gender stereotypes with her story that are so ingrained in us Indians that sometimes we put them above everything else, even humanity.
"We hope our story can provide support for other single-parent families. Male-centric traditions and customs are just one way of trying to show women that they are nothing without men, but we know first hand that just isn't true - we hope that this picture and this story proves that," she sums up.
Hernoor's story was told to the world by The Pink Ladoo Project, a social campaign that is trying to encourage the South Asian community to break gender-biased traditions. You can know more about them, here.
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