Menstruation Taboos in Different Religions and Cultures that are still Prevalent in 21st Century
Menstruation is the reproductive cycle in which the blood from the uterus exits through the vagina. This cycle usually occurs in girls in the age group of 11 and 14 years. The menstruation is one of the indications of onset puberty of girls. Despite being a unique phenomenon this is surrounded by myths and secrecy still now in many societies. Taboos surrounding menstruation excluded women from several social aspects as well as cultural life. Some of these would be beneficial but others have harmful inferences.
Myths on menstruation
Many of the girls are subjected to some restrictions during the period of their menstruation. The girls are not allowed to enter into the "puja" room and temples which is the major restriction among the urban girls whereas in rural areas the girls are not allowed to enter into the kitchen during their menstruation.
Menstruating girls and women are prohibited to offer their prayers and they are even restricted to touch their holy books. The rudimentary basis for this myth is the cultural beliefs of impurity associated with menstruation. It is also believed that menstruating women are unhygienic and unclean and therefore the food prepared or handled by them can get contaminated.
The cultural norms on menstruation are often made up of traditional associations with an evil spirit, shame and embarrassment surrounding the sexual reproduction. Women tend to bury their cloths which were used during their period of menstruation to avert them being used by evil spirits. In Surinam, the menstrual blood is believed to be dangerous, and a malevolent person can harm to menstruating women or girl by using "wisi" (Black magic).
In some parts of India, strict dietary also followed during the menstrual period. The dietary includes avoiding some food items such as curd, tamarind, and pickles. These foods are believed to be that they can disturb or stop the menstrual flow.
In Italy, menstruating girls are restricted to touch the flowers as they will immediately die. In Malaysia, it is believed that girls need to wash their pads before they throw out. Otherwise, ghosts will come and haunt them. In Poland, it is believed that having sex during menstruation can kill a partner.
Israel people believe that if a girl gets slapped during her first period she would have "beautiful" red cheeks. In Argentina, girls are restricted to make whipped cream just because it will curdle. In Bolivia, women are restricted to cradle babies otherwise they will get sick.
During the period of menstruation, there are several activities in which girls don't like to do so. There are several things which should not be done because of getting away from being harmed. There will be normal fluctuations in hormones during the period of the menstrual cycle. This will alter neurotransmitters which are responsible for various functions like mood, appetite, libido, anxiety, emotion, pleasure and pain.
The change in the level of oestrogen and progesterone are also responsible for any changes in women like breakouts, and breast tenderness, etc.,
Salty foods are said to contribute the bloating or water retention in women during menstruation. Eating salty foods can also worsen cramps. Knopman says "while unprotected sex is never a good idea, it is particularly a bad idea when you have your period". Blood is a very good medium for virus transmission. Therefore the transmission of HIV can be higher during this time.
"Exercise does the body well," says Jones. It will help in re-energizing as well as helps with menstrual cramps. We all know that smoking is bad for health, but it creates risks during menstruation and makes the period worse.
Menstruation is the normal biological cycle in every girl or woman and everyone should understand that the menstrual cycle is the main reason for procreation.
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