Changing times

Published On: September 14, 2018 08:59 AM NPT By: Kalu Maila

You know Teej is around the corner when you start hearing new Teej songs on radio, TV, and even YouTube. If you ask young people about Teej today, they will tell you that it is all about drinking, eating, dancing, and having a good time. Yes, our women also need a break now and then and they need to have fun as well. 

Some people think Teej is now vulgar with all those 'rowdy' songs on air. Some people talk about 'wild' women who get drunk and get into fistfights with each other at party palaces around the city. Some people even think that all Teej dance parties should be banned. But I think these people need to be reminded that we are not Taliban and just because women are out there drinking and enjoying each others' company doesn't mean they have gone wild and crazy. 

My wife doesn’t like to attend the Teej parties hosted by her friends, colleagues, relatives and other so-called social groups. Some people are not party animals and that's okay too. But she likes to look at her friends' Teej parties pictures on Facebook and like them all. She supports the 'Teej Party Movement' even though she doesn't like to participate in it. I tell her that she should also attend a party or two and have fun as well. But we have small kids in the house and my wife tells me that she will be attending these Teej parties once our kids go to school. I tell her to go and that I will take care of the kids. But no amount of cajoling will get her to attend a Teej party.

My friend's wife belongs to a different lot than my wife. She has a big tattoo on her arms. She likes to drink like a fish and can dance to any music, be it Bollywood tunes, Bhojpuri and even Bieber. She is a fun woman and she is my wife’s good friend even though my wife doesn't drink at all, doesn’t like to dance at parties, and is against anyone having tattoos. I tell my wife's friend that she should not allow her other friends to post her party videos on Facebook because it gives the wrong impression to some of her relatives and those who are on her friend's list. 

I tell my wife that some of our family pictures should be restricted to our families, relatives, and close friends and not to other 770 Facebook friends whom we will never meet in this life. We also need some privacy and some people may want to post all their pictures for the world to see but, sometimes, people might misuse the pictures and videos and make you look bad instead.

My friend's wife's video was uploaded by another Nepali news portal under the headline 'Nepali woman goes wild at party' and all she was doing was dancing to some Bollywood song that required intense shaking one's hips and some head banging. And there were hundreds of comments on that site from Nepali people mostly living overseas. It seems that we are more patriotic and even want to be a member of the 'moral' police when we are living abroad. I think some of our people should understand that just wearing shorts and walking around Kathmandu doesn't mean that the woman wants to show her legs and is an open invitation for teasing and other forms of harassment. The same guy who wants to be part of the moral police then has his Facebook picture of his wife in shorts in some beach in Australia. It doesn't matter if you live in Sydney or Syanja or Perth or Pokhara, you are free to choose your wardrobe. 

This Teej, my wife did not have ‘darr’ or fast or go to any of the parties. She stayed home and I did my part washing the bottles, preparing the formula, and feeding the babies. There is nothing wrong with parties being organized at party palaces to celebrate Teej where loud music, hard drinks, and intense hip shaking take place. Women just want to have fun and Cyndi Lauper didi was right when she sang a similar tune many decades ago. 

We must all move on with time. 30 years ago, there were hundreds of typing institutes in the city. 20 years ago, there were hundreds of computer training institutes and now there are cyber cafes that offer gaming services to our school kids. 30 years ago, women wearing pants were considered kind of indecent. 20 years ago, Kathmandu needed to give credit to the film 'Rangeela' and Urmila Matondkar for her boots and short skirts for introducing a new fashion scene. Today, we get to know about fashion from all over the world and we can even boast about our own Prabal Gurung being one of the leading fashion designers in the world. Times are changing and with it so should our mindsets. It’s not good to be regressive and pull people down for their choices.

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