Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Izzat, honour

For a traditional Indian family, ‘izzath’ is one of the most important things. More important even than basics like food and shelter. The ‘izzath’ of some households are compromised when a woman goes out to work- they would rather do without a few frills than have their womenfolk supplement the family income. 

Izzath needs also to be protected in other ways. No short skirts, not the slightest display of cleavage, and definitely no fraternising with members of the opposite sex. Domestic violence, bride burning, mental abuse-they are all permitted by unwritten social conventions. None of them compromises, izzath, after all. 
There are words, and there are words. Some words can be easily translated, others need to be described.  In April, I’ll attempt to capture the Soul of 26 'Indian' words in a  drabble of exactly 100 words.


Margot Kinberg said...

Natasha - And that's the cruel irony of izzath, isn't it... You remind me of a crime novel I read in which izzah is the motive behind the murder. The killer would rather commit murder than lose the family's honour.

Elizabeth said...

Fascinating post, fascinating theme. I had to go all the way back to A so that I could read all of those wonderful words.

Chuck said...

Rayna, I am still not sure what izzath means, I think I get the jist of it but how crazy is accepted bride burning?? How horrible.

Dianna Fielding said...

Wow, that's sad. Is honor worth death? There are many people in all cultures who would say it is, but you have to wonder...

Good luck with the challenge! I like your theme.

Dianna Fielding


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