Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Marwari Dinner Ritual

This one is little offbeat for the topics of this blog, but I wanted to document this somewhere because people reading this can get real virtue behind fer Marwari traditions.

Last evening I was having a coffee cup discussion with a friend on emancipation of woman and the narrow outlook of the Indian Society. In midst of the discussion he suddenly quoted the famous Dinner Ritual that is followed in Marwari and many Indian societies, that a woman eats only after all man in the family have eaten. He used this to justify that the Indian man, looks down at woman and don't give the equal rights to woman even at home.

At first, the argument seemed very logical, but then I just looked back at my own house and what i have seen in my own family and what the very similar tradition taught me. At my place, my mom being a housewife, always use to eat last in the house after making sure that everyone have eaten. She still does that, and takes pride in doing that. Her total attitude towards this is like she own the "house kitchen" and she is the King over there and its her duty to take care of her subjects, fellow family members. I never got the feeling of my dad looking down on her, although initially as a kid i use to take advantage of the situation and throw tantrums but as I grew up I realized the over all idea behind it.

On the similar analogy, whenever we use to visit dad's office, I use to see the role's have reversed. In office, Dad use to make sure all of us got comfortable first and make sure we got served with our favorite snacks and cold-drinks before running with his errands. The feeling I always got there is that here he is the King and following his duty of taking care of his subjects.

Just the same ritual, but different perspective around the same thing. As our society have changed these old rituals have lost its meaning as immature people like me as a kid had started taking advantage of them and trying to change the meaning around it. What we need is to "Grow up"!