Sunday, April 13, 2014

K is for Kanyadaan

Kanya means Daughter.
Daan means Charity.

And together, it basically means the ritual of giving your daughter away in marriage. In India, this is considered to be the most noble form of charity.

And it is from here that all goes down hill.

The daughter is considered a burden in Indian house holds, because not only does the father have to get the daughter married, it also means to give so much in dowry. Yes, even if it illegal.

One of the reasons is the nomenclature of the ritual, calling it to give your daughter away in charity. Had this been named something else, anything else, which did not mean that when you get your daughter married, you are doing charity, and that you will get rewarded from God because of this charity.

In the olden golden era, the women were allowed to choose their own husbands, this was called Swayamwar.
Swayam meaning Self
War meaning groom.
This was based on competitions, or various other methods. Sometimes, the princes were invited for the swayamwar, and they just made merry, till the princess was ready to choose her prince.
However, the giving away of the daughter was still called "Kanyadaan".
From whatever, I understand, the reason, why Kanyadaan was called as what it is, because, for the parents it was the most difficult thing for the parents to send their daughters away.
By the middle ages, however, the concept got diluted and the women became a burden.

Things are slowly changing, finally. When will the change happen in totality, God only knows, but for the time being, I feel, despite the nomenclature, the thoughts with respect to giving away daughters is equivalent to charity should change amongst the youth.

1 comment:

Stephanie Faris said...

Oh wow. I hope it definitely keeps changing. In America, many couples hope fervently for a girl. I can't imagine a society where any baby would ever be seen as a burden, no matter the gender.

Visiting from the A to Z Challenge signup page. Great to meet you!

Stephanie Faris, author
30 Days of No Gossip