Cross Cultural Awareness Hijra

Jul 23rd, 2016
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American Museum of Natural History - Richard Gilder Graduate School
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Cross Cultural Awareness

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Running Head: THE HIJRAS OF INDIA; NEITHER MEN NOR WOMENName:Course:Institution:1THE HIJRAS OF INDIA; NEITHER MEN NOR WOMEN2The Hijras of India; neither Men nor WomenIntroductionThe Hijras are an interestingly unique group of men who live in India. They are theunique religious group of men whose dressing resembles that of women. Their religion is basedon the worship of one of the key Indian goddesses; Buhuchara Mata. The Hijras undergo asurgical operation in order to connect them with the goddess. This operation that is sometimesreferred to as Hijra emasculation involves a surgical removal of the genitals (penis andtesticles) (Nada, 1999,p.ix-1). However, there are no modifications to form a vagina in orderto achieve a complete opposite. For this reason, the Hijras are considered as neither men norwomen; their traditional occupation is a fascinating area of study. The relationships of gendergroupings and sexual differences in human beings are of paramount significance when studyingthe culture of the Hijras. In particular, there are relationships between gender roles and cultureas well as sexual differences and roles. This culture has caused so many controversies not onlyto Indians but other people all over the world. However this does not seem to bother the Hijrasmuch; cutting off their genitals is such a crucial concept of their religion. It is supported byboth mythical and social reasons of their culture (Kotak, 2000).The myth behind cutti

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