RUKUM, July 29: As per the Hindu tradition, only a male can perform the last rites of the deceased family members. This deep-rooted tradition is prevalent arguably among almost all the societies of the country, which consider sons as the rightful heir to light the funeral pyre after the death of the parents. Breaking this traditional stereotype, a girl in Rukum has cremated her mother.
Bhawana BC of Sisne Rural Municipality, Rukumkot performed the death rituals of her mother Bhumi Kumari BC by lighting pyre on the bank of Sani Bheri River. According to some intellectuals, this will probably help to change the prevalent customs. Her mother lost her life while she was undergoing treatment at a Nepalgunj-based hospital. Her brother Mohan BC has been out of the district since a long time in course of his treatment.
“My brother is not here at the moment so I performed the last rites,” Bhawana said, adding, “Even if he was here, we would have jointly performed the rites.”
According to Bhawana, the society cannot change as long as ill traditions prevail unopposed. She further informed that it is very much important for women to break such traditional stereotypes and participate in similar kinds of works in order to change the society.
The death of her loving mother was an unbearable loss for her but she is happy that the society allowed her to perform her final rites despite being a woman. In the beginning, though some of her relatives raised objections, she was able to convince them later.
“I think she took a major step and she was right,” said Tika Ram Khatri, a local. It is not right to talk about male and female even in the 21st century.