All about Bengali Women.

Archive for the ‘Etiquette and Modesty’ Category

Womanly Protocol

Women in Bengali society are held in the highest regard, far more respected
and protected, in truth, than in the West. This does not imply the kind of
equality or participation in public interactions that are common in the West.
A woman will often be given preferential treatment in India at such places
as ticket counters. At meals, though, the men are usually expected to go first.
Feminine refinements are expressed and protected through numerous cus-
toms, including the following.


Modesty: The qualities traditionally most admired in Eastern women are shyness, self-effacement and modesty of dress and deportment. Self-assertive orbold tendencies are regarded with circumspection.
Mixed Company: In mixed company, Hindu women will keep in the background
and not participate freely in conversation. This, of course, differs among family
and close friends. When male guests are in the home, the women will appear
when it is proper. Visitors do not expect or ask to meet them.
Walking with Husband: The wife walks a step or two behind her husband, or, if
walking by his side, a step or two back, always giving him the lead. (In the West,
the opposite is often true.)

Serving Meals: At mealtime, women traditionally follow the ancient custom of
serving the men first before eating.

Chaperoning: It is customary for a woman leaving the home to always be accom-
panied, generally by her husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, mother, daughter,sister or another lady close to the family, or among a group of both men and women. Women in traditional areas rarely even walk across the street alone,unless they are older. Living alone, too, is unusual.
Moving in Public: Generally, it is considered improper for women to speak with
strangers on the street, much less strike up a casual conversation. Drinking or
smoking in public is viewed as a sign of moral laxity.

Shelter and Care: When away from home, husbands contact their wife each day
to express their love and inquire about her day.

Monthly Retreat: During their monthly period, Asian women do not prepare
food, attend social gatherings or attend the temple or home shrine.


Westernization and modesty

Morality is both an individual and social phenomenon. It tells you how to be happy. It’s a kind of a secret a key that guides you to get the maximum joy, pleasure, meaning, satisfaction, peace of mind, and many other good things out of life. And morality teaches us how to win the never-ending battle royal of good vs. evil.

Modern western society scoffs at the very mention of words such as morality, decency and modesty. These are regarded as old-fashioned and incongruous with today’s culture of liberalism and unfettered freedom. Immodesty, immorality, shamelessness and fornication are regarded as progressive and fashionable.

Yet this has been the very cause of the destruction of today’s family. Too many a happy home has broken due to infidelity, leaving in its trail misery, heartache and an unstable society. Fornication also leads to illegitimate and unwanted children who become a massive problem unto society due to lack of proper parental supervision.

Immorality is truly a curse on mankind and society.

  •  Today every other child in the U.S. is born out of wedlock.
  • Thirty-eight percent of children in the U.S. now live without a biological father;
  • 6.6 million children in the U.S. live with divorced single parents, mostly mothers whose ex-husbands tend to fade away from their children.

This gruesome picture is the direct result of the absence of morality, decency and modesty in the U.S. and, unfortunately most of the Western world, and parts of Eastern societies.

  • Today, adultery and fornication are no longer viewed as the deadly crimes and sins they really are and are in fact commonplace.
  • Married men are expected to have several mistresses in some places.
  • Premarital sex is now considered quite acceptable, normal, well within the bounds of morality, and indeed desirable.

It has been this way for a long time and you can say it has become part of the “American Way”. Dating begins at a very young age and every socially well-adjusted youngster is expected to have several girlfriends and boyfriends by a certain age. Couples are expected to live together.

Those who grow up in the West are weaned on sex in both subtle and not so subtle ways. It is quickly learned through T.V. shows, commercials, movies, advertisements, songs, you name it, that being sexy is a desired goal and aim in life.

Even comic books abound with superheroes and heroines with fantastically well-proportioned bodies and they lead sexually active private lives where little is left to the imagination. Animated cartoon characters  make the message crystal clear about what makes a female desirable. The top selling video and computer games feature female characters with sexy bodies whose biggest audiences are adolescent boys and young men. Females are intensely focused on being sexually attractive and are conditioned to be so from the time they get their first Barbie. This is what makes the fashion, cosmetic and entertainment industries thrive.

Countless young girls admire and aspire to be ‘superstar’ beauty queens, models, singers, or actresses.

There is a phenomenal proliferation of ‘fan’ or entertainment magazines that feature the hottest entertainment stars who are known precisely for their sex appeal. The highest rated T.V. talk shows are those that commonly feature people who expose their most intimate and outlandish sexual behaviour. Moreover, homosexuality has now become accepted by a large number of people particularly in the West as well as in other circles that are “westernized”.

Bengali culture sets the highest possible standard of morality. However we are destroying our social structure under the influence of Westernization.

Etiquette and Modesty

Etiquette and Modest conduct were the hallmark of Bengali women:-

This code of behavior guides women on how a well-bred woman should conduct herself.

1. The most precious ornament of a woman is modesty, and the best expression of modesty is in the lowering of the gaze

2. Not intermingling with men in such a way that their bodies come in contact or that men touch women

3. Modest Indian woman walks and talks in a dignified and business-like manner, avoiding flirtatiousness in her facial expressions and movements. Flirting and seductive behavior are characteristics of wrong-minded women.

4. She does not draw men’s attention to her concealed adornment by the use of perfume or by jingling or toying with her ornaments or using gaudy makeup.

5. Her clothing must conform to as follows:-

· Her dress must cover her entire body with the exception of “that which is apparent, which, according to the most preferable interpretation, refers to the face and hands.

· It must not be transparent, revealing what is underneath it. Debauched women are clothed yet naked.

· Her dress must not be too tight so as to define the parts of her body, especially its curves, even though it may not be transparent.

· She must not wear clothes which are specifically for men, such as trousers.

The Basic Rules of Etiquette

1. Learn to govern yourself and to be gentle and patient.

2. Never speak or act in anger.

3. Remember that, valuable as is the gift of speech, silence is often more valuable.

4. Learn to speak in a gentle tone of voice.

5. Learn to say kind and pleasant things when opportunity offers.

6. Do not neglect little things if they can affect the comfort of others.

7. Learn to deny yourself and prefer others.

8. Beware of meddlers and tale bearers.