Anthropology
11-7-15


Hijras

This film documented the HIjras, who live in India. Hijra is a term used in South Asia to refer to a transsexual or transgender individual. In the film, we first meet a Hijra, named Jyoti. Her parents were disgusted with her so she decided to run away. She continued to live her life the way she wanted to, and after a while decided to get an operation done by the gurus. The gurus will make the binaries stand upright and proceed to chop off the male organ, so that they are left with only the female organ. After the organ is cut off, the gurus pour hot oil on the wound for the next 41 days. There is no medicine or injection used in this procedure, so the Hijras must endure the grueling pain. This is not the only pain they go through, as there is a mental aspect as well. Some of the Eunuch’s family members believe that they have committed some sort of sin for their child to be born like this. There is no doubt that being around that mentality would, in some way, depress the child. The majority of the Hijras want to have a family with kids, but know that there aren’t many options available to them, so they result to prostitution.
They want to fit in with society, but it is hard for them because of the margin handed to them. That is also how it relates to our course, because we are discussing gender roles, and what is expected from those genders. The Hijras have happily been accepted as a third gender, which is a great start to their new lives. Hopefully they will continue to strive, as some of them are in parliament. I can empathize with their pain, but cannot relate, because I have not gone through their hardships.