Saturday, January 18, 2014

A DVD I would strongly recommend

It is called The Forgotten Woman (La Femme oubliee).

It is a documentary on widows in the country of India.  As many readers will  know, Suttee or Sati (widow burning) was outlawed in 1827 by the British Government General of India.  However, it does not necessarily mean that it does not happen today.  There have been cases as late as 2008 when Suttee was done in rural areas.For those who may not know this terminology, when  the Hindu husband dies, his wife also will join him (alive) on his funeral pyre.

I am mentioning this so that you may see what women have gone through (and perhaps still do) when their husband dies.

It seems, from this excellent document, that women who are widows are discriminated against, some people even thinking that she may be responsible for his death.  There are women speaking about their experiences once their husband dies.  Some are very old - well over 80.  Several of the people talked about their age of marriage (9 years of age) and the life they had with their husbands.

Some were abused by their husbands, some were treated as servants by their in-laws and in the end, when their husband dies, they become outcasts, quite often from their own families. They become an unwanted burden.

From what I understood from this documentary, the widow has no financial support and basically has to face life alone.

Several spoke of the fact that they had many children, but none of them have helped their mothers after she became a widow.

It is a difficult film to see although it certainly is well done.

When one thinks about the lifestyle in North America and most of Europe, and then sees how women are treated and disrespected in various other parts of the world, when a baby girl born into a family is not as welcome as a baby boy, one can see that we humans certainly have a lot to learn about equality and justice.

On a personal note, I am blessed with a wonderful Hindu friend in Toronto and I am sure that she would never consider being a part of such an activity.

This DVD is certainly well worth your time to watch and can be borrowed from the public library in Hamilton.


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