Today we had a fun / interesting cultural experience :) Here in our country, there are these people called Hijras हिजड़ा .... or Eunuchs. Most of these people are true eunuchs - they were born without male or female parts. They all live together in their own ghetto. If you have a child that is a Hijra, then they will come and demand you for your child and people here will give them their child. They all live together and in order to get money, they mostly do a glorified sort of begging. They are always dressed to the hilt. They come and visit you when you've had something big happen in your life - usually weddings and.... NEW BABIES. They come and dance and make a HUGE ruckus. They ususally do this until they are given a large amount of money. Some of them can be quite crazy and violent, but mostly they will just annoy you to death, barge into your home (or wedding) and dance and sing around until you give them money (usually around $100-200 is their demand). Everyone gives them money because they are afraid they will be cursed by the hijras if they don't. Here's a pic below: So today, the doorbell rings. Adam opens the door and there was a huge crowd of Hijras at our door!!!! The news of our new baby had traveled fast! Well, luckily we had a big metal screen door thing behind our door, so they couldn't get in :) They kept ringing our bell and asking to come in... they even brought a balloon for Aashini :) haha! They were quite aggressive and really wanted to come in. Adam was going to give them some sweets (which is the custom here when you have a new baby) but as he reached to open the door, they all grabbed hold to try to barge in... haha! So needless to say, they didn't get any sweets. Adam just told them that it was not our custom to do this, and thanked them for coming and shut the door. They rang the doorbell for a while (and Aashini slept right through it) and eventually left. If we were in M-town we wouldn't have gotten off that easy - haha! I guess in the Capital they aren't as aggressive :) Anyway, thought I'd share our fun cultural moment of the day :) I love this country! haha!
If you want to know more about Hijras check out these links:
Hijras in South Asia