Teej festival should accommodate third gender

Kathmandu (Pahichan) September 2 – Writer Archana Thapa is of the view that tradition of fasting by women during Teej festival wishing the long-life of their husband must be changed with the course of time.

She is of the view that all festivals should accommodate all aspects and dimensions of the society. “Though fasting is for Shiva, it is actually in the name of husband, it is not justifiable to say that staying hungry stomach can increase the life of husband,” she said, “ In today’s society, relations are not confined between male and female, there is also same-sex relation, there could be relation between female and female; and male and male.”  She is of the view that we should come out from traditional norms and values.

She is of the view that it is wrong to move ahead with a traditional mindset at a time when there are new dimensions of relations.  Actually, there is not existence of only male and female in the society.  The constitution of Nepal adopted in 2015 has recognized gender and sexual minority. However, laws are not formulated as per the constitutional provisions. The rights of sexual and gender minority is yet to be fully cemented.

Members of this community are celebrating Teej as a part of their campaign to secure rights. “Earlier, it was celebrated as a festival of Hindu women to express their grief and plights of one year,” Chair of Blue Diamond Society Pinky Gurung says, “Now, we celebrate as a part of our campaign that we should get rights at par with male and female.”  Since 15 years, BDS is celebrating teej festival but they do not fasting. “Some friends however pray for a good husband, but majority members of our community avoid fasting,” Gurung said.

Nepal government is yet to count the population of this community. Central Bureau of Statistics which conducts national census in every 10 year is excluding this community in the census.

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