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Bishnupriya Manipuri Women Status: Past and the Present

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata

Fifteen years back the Bishnupriya Manipuri villages wore a very plain and simple look. The houses were mainly kutcha, most of the villages had no electricity, no telephone, no cooking gas connection etc. Every house hold had a kitchen garden where all necessary herbs and vegetables were grown. And above all the tradition of joint family was prevalent.The female members of the Bishnupriya Manipuri families had a very tough time. They would wake up early in the morning. Once awoke, what on earth they did not do?. Kol darani, gor mankol hurani baro lepani, uthan baro khatang hurani, phuti doni, darou pherani, dhan banani, choul tekani, pani bujani, rua ruani, phuti bunani, darour jit bat radani etc. They hardly got time to take rest.

At that period of time, when we used to go to the village to visit our relatives, we always felt the warmth. They seemed very cheerful and full of life. They always bore a wide smile on their face.

But now after a span of fifteen to twenty years, the scenario of village life has changed completely. Myself being married, feel that as daughters-in-law of the present era, we do not do ten percent of the house hold chores in comparison to the amount of work the ladies used to do twenty years back.

Now, each and every village house is no more kutcha. Every house has electricity, a telephone, running water, a color television, and above all a motor bike for the son who is yet to complete his high school. Now, food in villages are no more cooked in the chulha, as every house has an LPG connection. And most commonly seen is that most of the house has two to three kitchens, as now no one prefers to stay in a joint family.

Thanks to modern facilities, the ladies of so called rigid Bishnupriya Manipuri community breathe a sigh of relief. They no more have to do all the tiring jobs. Most of the houses have at least two orderlies to help them out with the washing and cleaning part. Now they get time to take rest have a chat with the neighbors, to have a chat with their near and dear ones over the telephone. At leisure time they prefer to watch the daily soaps in the television. Now a days, most of the houses, do not have the kitchen garden anymore, since all the necessary items are now available in the nearby village market.

Now, when all the necessary modern facilities are available in the Bishnupriya Manipuri houses, they lack the warmth, the hospitality they used to have. Now a days, the village life is no more simple. Life has become more complex there. Every one is busy competing with one another. Every one is busy learning the art of earning more money. Life has become materialistic.

Few days back, one of my cousin brother’s, who came to visit us said to me -“ Didi, now if you visit anybodies house in our village at evening time, you will no more find the warmth. You will not find anybody to speak to, because they are engrossed watching the K-series soaps. They are more interested in knowing what will happen to Tulsi(Kyunki Saans Bhi kabhi bahu thi) or Parvati(kahani ghar ghar ki) rather than the fact that you have gone to visit them after so long. The emotions you are talking of are no more there”.

Now, I feel and think, think very hard, whether this present materialistic era where everybody is having a tireless life, but are forgetting to enjoy life is better or the era twenty years back where everybody worked so hard to have a livelihood, still were warm, full of emotions, cordial, and hospitable was better. I am just bound to think and think………

Comments

  1. We found a nice article here,thanks a lot...

    Long time ago our traditional women were able to control their children and family though they were illiterate,today we have education but something is missing inside...

    Is it science or technology that stole all the enthusiasm,cheer and happiness I don't know,but we desperately need to work on that because culture is what a society's women reflects.

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi madam

    this one again a nicly described well written article. belive me ur all articles are admired by many and this appreciation i have witnessed in Delhi at the assembly of Sadhuthakur's program in Delhi on 11th.
    Please keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mr BN,

    Thanks for ur appreciation. I don't even know how to react. But yes, my heartiest thanks to all.

    ReplyDelete

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