Oh my goodness. We just had a lovely dinner at the Jensen’s home followed by a really great Indian film called Water. If you want to know why I am here in Nepal, watch this movie (along with Slumdog Millionaire and Taken and the book Sold and.. etc). The movie began with a father waking his beautiful, spirited 7 year old daughter in the middle of the night to tell her that the husband she was too young to remember had died and that she was now a widow. In that culture, when the husband died, the wife was expected to be half-dead as well…if she didn’t live a life of purity and deprivation, she would go to hell. The film follows as she breathes life into a widows’ sanctuary during the time of Gandhi’s reform, and the atrocities of the treatment of widows (all in the name of “scripture”). It is an amazing movie, a tragic movie. I’m still a bit angry, actually…but I think it’s important for people to see.
At the end, the text says that, according to the 2001 census, there are 34 million widows in India… 34 MILLION! James 1:27 just vibrates through my body as I sit here in the wake of the film…no matter what faith or lack thereof you come from, how could you not embrace, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
And what confuses me most is that all of this is from a culture that throws huge wedding festivals and makes a big deal out of the ceremony. I mean, if your women are worthless and you devalue them so much with use of prostitutes and then throw them away after use, why such a display of marching bands and pageantry for a wedding? My heart was broken yesterday as a wedding procession passed… smiles, flowers, marching band leading the way of a decorated car… husband, new bride, and woman in back seat – bride sobbing… SOBBING on her wedding day!! Why? Because when a woman marries, she ceases to be a part of her own family (cuts contact) because she is now a part of the husband’s. If he dies, they don’t want to take care of her because she’s not really theirs and is just another mouth to feed, she can’t work, she can’t remarry, and she’s no longer a part of her original family. And all this in 2010! AND, the marriage was arranged in the first place! It lights a fire in me that I don’t think I have words for.
So, anyhow, watch the movie Water.. it’s a beautiful story and a real eye-opener… Just don’t watch it when you want a light, fluff escape from reality 😉