Transgender Culture In Hijra

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Transgender cultures exist around the world. However many forms of transgendered cultures disappeared because of the Christian teachings. In Indian society, the institutionalized third gender is called Hijra and is noticeably different from the Western concept of transgender. Hijras are men who dress and act like women. They do not consider themselves to be men or women, but a sub-cast. Hijras in India are known because of their performing role in religious ceremonies at weddings and for new-born male babies (Ishikawa). Last year on April, Indian Supreme Court granted transgender people the status of a "third gender" category, recognizing them as a socially and economically disadvantaged class (Kotak). It is known that the transgender community…show more content…
Other professions they execute are tax collectors and performing jobs. Prostitution in Hijras is common, is considered deviant within the Hijra community but many Hijras earn a living from it. “Prostitution is carried out within a Hijra household, under the supervision of a house manager or ‘madam’ who will collect part or all of the prostitute's earnings in return for shelter, food, a small allowance, and protection from the police and rowdy customers” (Nanda). Even though prostitution is the main source of income of Hijras, this act is considered criminal in India. The tax collection agency hires Hijras because of the fear people have towards them. It is believed that Hijras have “special powers” to curse or to bless. “A culturally widespread belief in India is that Hijras have the power to curse people with sterility and bad fortune, most dramatically by lifting their skirts and exposing their mutilated genitals” (Nanda). The fear and anxiety this belief provokes are sufficient to force most people to give in to their demands making them perfect for the task. Imagine you run a business in India and you are culturally immersed in the Indian traditions and one month you skip your rent. Wouldn’t you be scared that Hijras may come to your business and curse you and your business? Surely I would be scared. Lastly their most common job is the performances they do on weddings and when new babies are born. Their role as performers is historical and Hijras sometime dance in non-ritual ceremonies such as stag parties and festivals (Hannah). However the performing at marriages and births business has declined because less people is getting married nowadays. Despite the fact that those jobs mentioned above are the most common ones, currently transgender have more job opportunities. For example, Dr Manabi Bandopadhyay, who is India's first transgender college
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