Posts Tagged ‘transvestite’

The Hijras of India

In Social on October 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

The hijras of India are unlike any you might see in any other part of the world.  You might have occasionally come across men dressed as women, wearing garishly bright makeup. They immediately attract attention to themselves for all the wrong reasons and most often win ridicule.

We are really not sure if eunuch, transvestite, gay or transgender is actually the right term for a hijra as their social mores are very unique and are almost above classification by western terms.  One can attempt to know them by their social mores rather than by classification by taxonomy, so here goes:

Who is a hijra?  

Is there no western classification to this transgender from India?  Because of a lack of proper english definition, most research points to hijras associated with a matriarchal, hierarchical clan that encompasses LGBT orientations.  Some relevant points here to help you understand who a hijra really is:

1. There are more than a million hijras in India, the largest presence in any country!

2. Hijras live in clans or all-male hijra communities.  The hierarchical head of such a community is called a guru.  The followers are chelas.  The gurus and chelas live in harmony.

3. In larger cities, like Delhi and Mumbai, hijra communities could coalesce based on language and caste but they are mostly secular in their views on everything.

Indian movies have portrayed hijras effectively in wedding celebrations and blessing of the new born
A popular Tamil movie Paruthiveeran, picturised Aravanis in a kick-ass song sequence. The Hindi movie Kunwara Baap, had hijras welcoming and blessing a new born baby. This timeless and evergreen classic to this day is an all-time favorite of the hijras.

  Read the rest of this entry »