Friday, October 23, 2009

I forgot something

So in all of my writings on my life in India, I somehow left out the whole reason why I am here - what exactly I spend my time and energy doing. I would like to introduce you, Gentle Reader, to my Jalaripeta widows.

The two women in the front are Enkamma and Pidamma. They're sisters-in-law (maybe sisters, too - things are vague on this point) and both widows with young children. Pidamma's husband died 3 months ago and it is socially unacceptable to go outside her house or work for another two months. The other women live nearby. Jalaris tend to jump into whatever picture is being taken.

This is where all of the widows were gathered when I first met them. I believe it is used as a sort of cooking hut. It is on the corner by Pantiya's house and near to where all of the widows live. I've done several interviews here.

This is Desuma coming home from the fish market. She eloped with her husband when she was 20 - a late marriage, but she had turned down all of the other men that asked for her hand. Her parents were furious and came and yelled at her husband, but she refused to go home.

Other women of the Jalaripeta. The women here are the ones that sell the fish that their husbands catch. You can tell which are widows by whether they are wearing a bindi and glass bangles or not. Several days after her husband's death, a woman will be blindfolded and taken down to the coast where her marriage thread will be burned, her bangles smashed, and bindi removed. They never wear these markers again.

No comments:

Post a Comment