Tuesday, March 24, 2009


People give away alms (wadhai) only because of the fear to avoid their curse and get good wishes. Hijras claim that since they themselves cannot give birth to children, when they bless someone with wishes of childbirth, it is accepted. However, asexuality and certain behavioral patterns such as cracking vulgar jokes, using obscene language and throwing vulgar gestures, induce annoyance, resulting in people harboring negative attitude towards them. Thus by and large, people do not like to interact with them.

Some even believe that children born with sexual deformity should be given away to the hijra community.

Nowadays, the number of zananas in our society is ever increasing. Since they are not accepted by their families, those born in rural areas run away to cities. As a result of this, the number of hijras is ever increasing in cities like Lahore where according to an estimate; there are more than 45,000 hijras. It is the very gestures and at times the vulgar and obscene acts of these hijras that results in people being apprehensive and reluctant in interacting with them. People blame them for homosexuality or sex business. The attitude of people towards hijras, on the basis of preliminary results of our research show that people who believe that they are born hijras have more positive attitude towards the hijra community than the people who believe that they are men behaving like women or both.

The attitude of our society towards hijras is contradictory. “Some accept them, some hate them, many fear them, many are amazed by them, a few like them, many make fun of them, and no one invites them in”. They are considered unclean and only their community members can understand how they feel. “Only a hijra can understand a hijra. Even our family members (blood relations) don’t understand how we feel”, claims Laila. In short, as it is difficult to isolate a genuine hijra (born with sexual deformity) from a convertee’s one, people look down upon the whole hijra community.

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