Answers relg 271.docx - Notes for Question 3 Hijras...

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Notes for Question 3: Hijras denounce sexual practice. Their traditional ritual role is to bestow fertility upon newly weds and newborn. They undergo sacrificial emasculation dedicated to the goddess Bedhraj Mata. Religious aspect, gifting your penis and balls to the goddess. Hijras can include male/female, third gender, not man not woman. Most of the hijras today are in prostitution. Desire for male sexual partners, wearing feminine clothes. Hijras aren’t interchangeable with transgenders. Often in the west, this mistake is done. Many hijras are transgenders. There are a number of aspects to their hijra identity. Hijras were marginalized way before colonialism. People aren’t born as hijras. Non-acceptance from a family, due to their non- conformity to gender roles. As a result of this non-acceptance from family, these hijras move to a city center from home. Majority of Indians live in rural areas. Every member of hijra community connects with a guru. Familial relationships, guru becomes a mother figure. The guru is an older hijra with many daughters and looks out for her daughters. The money earned by hijras is given to the guru (a share). Religious rituals to become a hijra. Sex- reassignment surgery isn’t necessary but is ideal. If there is a surgery, there will be a ceremonial marriage. Marriage is important in Indian culture, it’s a part of achieving woman hood for these Hijras. Many hijras died from the surgery in the past, since it was illegal back then and was done by not doctors in some cases. It can be very difficult to have it covered under government. Most hijras even today have the surgery outside hospitals since its more accessible and cheaper. Associated with a goddess- Bedhraj Mata. Hijras dedicate themselves to this goddess. They’d receive this power from goddess to bestow fertileness. Hijras in particular connected to this goddess. She is a regional goddess of Gujrat. Associated with fertility. She is now a pan-indian goddess of Hijras. Many hijras mention that this goddess visited them in their dreams to encourage them to become Hijras. Hijras are both revered and feared. They have the power to bless/curse. Collect money from the streets and dispense blessings. They’re also present at various important lifecycle rituals weddings, births, baby showers. The sisters of perpetual indulgence have promoted themselves to respect of human rights, gender diversity, public service and spiritual connection. They first appeared in san Francisco. Prominently gay men, although there are lesbian, heterosexual and transgender queer sisters. Manifest themselves as sisters by wearing dimples, painting their faces and taking up new names. Their mission statement is “To promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt. Condom saviour mass was performed in response to the aids. They give out

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