Kinnars, Hijras or the now widely referred as the Third gender, these people belong to a category that has had a lot to face in their lives. In a country like India where we are still struggling to give the third gender their rights and identity, their story hasn’t been easy. Really, it does not take a lot of research to be aware of this. Much has been spoken about their lives, both good and bad. However, very little is spoken about their death rituals. In this issue of Social Spotlight, Stylewhack takes you through some of them.
Kinnars are said to be divine
The Kinnar community in India has been around for more than just decades. Their presence has been noted even in the ages of Kings and Queens. They have even held positions in their kingdom. Kinnars in India have long been treated as divine species. Their arrival in ceremonies like that of marriages, child birth etc has always been considered auspicious.
The curse of a kinnar is a common phrase that is often feared in the Indian community. Kinnars do not like to hear no and so to please them, other genders give heed to their demands.
Kinnars and their death rituals
It is said that once a Kinnar realizes that death is soon approaching them, they put every aspect of their life at rest. She would sit in a corner of her house, immersing herself in prayers. They supposedly consumer no water or eat any food. Other Kinnars join them in prayers and ask the almighty to not give them the gender of a eunuch in their next birth.
A dying eunuch is considered Godly and thus is said to have divine powers. The news of her approaching death is told to other Kinnars who then come from different parts of the country to be with her and pray along. Those who cannot physically be present, pray while keeping the dying eunuch in their minds. All this is done to make sure that death comes peacefully and she can travel to the other world without any hindrances.
The cremation rituals of Kinnars
Once a Kinnar is dead, her last rites are performed in a simple manner. Many Kinnars contribute towards the funeral. The body is cleaned and wrapped in a white cloth. Any material that is tied to her body is carefully removed to symbolize that she is now free from any kinds of bonds and relations with anybody.
Fascinating, isn’t it?
If you know more about this topic or know somebody who would like to elaborate on it, comment and let us know!