Friday, August 12, 2005

Hijra Matchmakers

This very interesting article appeared in my in-box this morning. It is about Auntie Noorie, she is a hijra, the third reported case of AIDS in India (according to the article), and now a matchmaker for those who hare HIV positive. The entire article is lengthy and deals more with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India, but hijra community does get a mention. Its an interesting way of seeing how the disease has brought people together in different ways.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hijra's used as outsources labor for transgendered clothing manufacturing

Transgendered Voices, Inc has decided to outsource the manufacturing of transgender clothing to India. They want the hijra community to make the clothing.
This article raises conflicting feelings in me. On one hand I know am aware of how poor the hijra community and much on India is at the moment. To see a company reaching out to the hijras to do something for people in similar situation and allowing them to make more money makes me happy. At the same time Jeffords says: “Once they start working, they will earn the respect they deserve and merge into the social fold,”. This irritates me because it makes assumptions about Indian culture that I don't believe are true. Yes, in America, this is more than true. People who contribute to society are given respect. Indian society, and correct me if I am wrong, is still highly caste based (if not entirely) and while politically and legally this may not be the case, socially this is more true than not. No matter what they contribute to their society they will probably remain outcasts. It seems that their role has been placed on them because of their caste. I think the good to come out of all of this is that the quality of a hijras life may improve and this may help curb the prostitution that is helping cause the large number of AIDS victims within the community. Of course, all the money a chela makes could go to the guru who will reap the benefits of the income more than her chelas.
What is your reaction and opinion?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Hijra Guru to be central character in movie

I just read an article about a Bollywood actor whose next role will be a Hijra Guru. He seems very excited about the role and mentioned that the character is a central character to the film plot. There is no current title for the film, but if you know anything about it, please share!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Photography Exhibit

Of urbanising landscape and more
This article is multiple small entries about art going on in New Delhi. The last entry is about a photo exhibition by Man Mueller Bhavan about Hijras. Sadly, it appears to be done now, but I just got the article about it yesterday. There is a bit on the second link about it along with a few pictures. The exhibition was call “Kaaya - Beyond Gender”.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Movie Review from India

I am bringing you an article that is really a movie review. Here is a quote from it:"Based on the true story of a eunuch's political rise in Madhya Pradesh, Yogesh Bharadwaj's Shabnam Mousi is a good attempt to deal with an offbeat subject."

If you know of a way to get a copy, please let me know!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Castration - forced or choice

When I presented my thesis to the committee, the one thing all the men focused on was the issue of castration. Were hijras forced into the surgery or did they go willingly. I explained that it seemed to be a combination of both depending on the group each hijra was part of.
This article mentions a recent story about a man who claimed to have been forced into the surgery by the hijras, but the story itself defends the community with other hijras claiming that no guru would do that.

Hijra's, Pakistan, and HIV Awareness

It seems clear that the Hijra's of India have a different role and lifestyle than those in Pakistan. Religion probably plays a huge role in those differences (between Muslim and Hinduism). The Hijra's in Pakistan, sadly, seem to be little more than prostitutes. As a result, HIV/AIDS awareness is a major issue.
One person seems to be trying to make the Pakistan Hijras aware of the issue though....

Thursday, April 28, 2005

News Updates - Passport Application "Sex Options"

This is just the first of a bunch of news updates I have from Google. I apologize for holding on to these for so long.

From Calcutta's The Telegraph, a opinion piece on some recent changes to the passport application form. They have added "E" to the M/F option on this form. The E stands for Eunuch and is on the web version of the passport application.
While this is labeled part of the "Opinion" section of this paper, there seems to be little of it. It does recap, briefly, the recent activities of the community in politics. It also does raise the question about members of the hijra community who are not eunuchs (a reference to those who have not yet gone through the surgery) and when these changes will make their way beyond passport applications.

I looked into this and there is an option for Eunuchs to signify this as their sex. If you look at the actual passport application, it only has the written option of Male or Female, but the instructions for the application signify that if you are a Eunuch you should write E in the space.

Holi - Festival of Colors

About a month ago, the Festival of Colors, Holi, was celebrated in India. In Bhopal, the hijra community took part of the celebration. Like with almost every article about the community, the short bit of news is followed by a more lengthy (but still brief) description of the community. Still, there seemed to be a positive response from celebrants and this is the 5th year the community has participated.

More information on Holi, The Festival of Colors