Why they ask widow: Don’t eat protein related food
Widows have always been targeted and are thought to be bad omens. They have been burnt under the expectations of the society. Not only in India but all civilizations have tortured widows since time immemorial. They are not given proper nutrition in the name of false myths. It is believed that eating Protein related food can arouse their sexual desires and they might show disloyalty to their deceased husband. The following are the list of foods that widows are forbidden to eat:
- Garlic: This is an important anti-oxidant which was forbidden for the widows. It originated from the belief that eating garlic would generate heat in the body thus arousing sexual sentiments making the widow uncommitted to the deceased husband.
- Pulses: Pulses are an important source of protein which the widows were forbidden to eat due to this same wrong myth. The widows had to remain pious and thus they were starved by not giving nutrients essential for the growth of the body.
- Egg: In the ancient times egg was considered as impure and the widows were asked to stay away from it. It is no surprise that they suffered from mal nutrition.
- Onions: The widows are even not allowed to eat onions which boosts our immune system. This was forbidden for the same reason as well.
- Ginger: This was also tabooed as generating heat in the body. Ginger is also an anti oxidant and the widows were forbidden to eat it as well.
- Fish: Yet again to maintain the purity, widows were not allowed to eat fish which is high protein.
- Bakery products: The bakeries were run by Muslims and so orthodox Hindus forbid the widows to eat products touched by different religions.
- Meat: Meat was considered as a delicacy and was forbidden to the widows as they were believed to be always remain in pain since their husband have passed away.
- Pistachios: They were also considered to generate heat in the body and thus forbidden to the widows.
- Sweets: Even sweets were forbidden as the widows should live a very simple life away from all indulgences.
There were many such food products that the widows were forbidden. They lacked nutrition and were often subjected to domestic violence. They were not allowed to participate in any religious ceremonies as they were considered as bad omens. They even had to fast every month and were given only fruits to survive on for days. In the name of protecting their chastity, they were even forced to give up the basic necessities of life. They had to dedicate their time to God. This portrayal is of the society which was patriarchal and women were only a commodity of pleasure. After her husband’s demise, she was seen as a burden on the society. They were asked to dress simply and were not allowed to wear any colourful clothes. In some cultures they are referred as ‘it’ rather than ‘she’ as the demise of the husband was believed to take away the identity from the woman. They were referred as creatures as only husband could give them the status of being human.
This is prevalent in today’s scenario as well. The widows flock to Vrindavan which is often called the city of widows. They are tortured, not given proper food and even some are forced to prostitution. They are sexually assaulted and forced to live a simple or a prisoner life.
The idea of forbidding widows from eating Protein related food was to protect their chastity as certain foods can arise the sex neurons. In a scientific way protein rich foods do heat up our body but to provide us nutrition and strength. This was mainly used as a drive of patriarchy more than a science myth.
So this was about the plight of widows which they face even today. Hopefully you got an insight into the previous malpractices which should be changed. Stay tuned for more such articles. We will be back with such stuffs. Till then take good care of yourselves.