Let me tell a KUTTI_STORY 🙂
US / UK
There was a girl named Emma who lived in the US when she was young (I.e., as a teenager/ adolescent). She was so clumsy during menstruation to the extent that she won’t even go out during those days.
Once she used a tampon (A tampon is a menstrual product designed to absorb blood and vaginal secretions by insertion into the vagina during menstruation) during her periods and that broke her hymen which in turn made her polluted or impure.
She won’t take baths during her periods following societal practices which made her prone to several infections. Then she moved out to the UK for her further education, there she went camping on a college trip and that happened to be her periods week, she was trapped by a bear in the forest when she lost track to the tent (the bear smelled her menses from far away and attempted an attack on her when she was lost in track).
Somehow her professor saved her with the team on time that made her catch her breath back. Then she witnessed her friend (Emily) doing her hair – perm when she (Emily) was on her first period. The next day, Emily came to college as bald-head, because all her hair fell off over a night. They both went on an educational trip to a vegetable farm again on their periods (accidentally), when they picked some vegetables each out of curiosity they immediately dried out. Thereafter, they lived so cautiously with pursuing social norms.
Baijanthi resides in Nepal. In an incident, stayed at home during her periods unfortunately and as a result when she was out for some time the next day, her house burnt down into ashes due to an unexpected fire. On a succeeding day, she was asked to stay out of her family discussion because she was on her periods but she interrupted which caused her father a stroke abruptly. These imprinted serious scars in her mind.
Alya is a teenager who lives with her family in Israel. When Alya attained her first period, her mother slapped her right on the face. She whispered why she beat her and her mother replied that she will have a ‘forever red beautiful cheeks’ if she did so. This made Alya show her other cheek (voluntarily) for a beautiful slap. After a few months, due to an unfamiliar & extremely cold weather, Alya took a bath in hot water which caused a heavy flow since it was her periods-time. She has learnt now, how to handle periods in that region.
Isabella is an adult who lives in Colombia as a career woman. Once she was working late on her periods in the office, she was too exhausted from tiredness so she bought a cold beverage from the vending machine. After having a bottom-up of that drink, she fell out of her chair and curled up due to the sudden bursting cramp.
Then the doorkeeper found her & helped her to the nearby hospital. This incident made her fall apart from cold beverages. You can imagine how painful it could have been. After several months, another incident came by when she fell into drainage by accident on her way home. That too happened on her periods and so she was supposed to wash her hair and she did so.
Since her hair ruined deeply in that fall, she cut off a few of her ruined hair. And guess what happened, that night her entire hair disappeared into the air. This made her realize the societal beliefs once again and thereafter she used a wig to wherever she went.
Anna is a married woman who lives in Poland. She has one husband and no children yet. One day her husband and she attempted to make one but unfortunately, that happened to be her period day. As believed by most, her husband died, the day after their intercourse. Just like that, she became a widow.
Andrea is a university girl in Romania. She has a crush over Justin (her classmate) over some time. Since she is another term for bravery, she decided to confess her feelings towards him. So, on one fine day, she bought some new flowers which are fresh with dewdrops over them.
She saw him sitting on a bench in the garden near the university. She approached him with utmost confidence mixed with some confusion. She is standing right in front of him, she said ‘I like you’ by handing out the lovely flowers she picked for him and that’s when her periods came out of nowhere. When he was going to collect the flowers from her, before him touching all the flowers withered out of the blue. That marks the end of the story.
Aisha is a Malaysia born child. She is a working adult now. On a busy day, she was rushing to a meeting. Before that, she went to the restroom to change her napkin, but she threw them away without washing them in an urgency.
That night, she watched a horror movie in her apartment alone. While she was watching that, the ghosts in the movie (such as the ones in the ‘Conjuring’) came out of the screen and made her faint then & there. After which she was hospitalised for some time and that took so much effort to return to her normal life. Guess what this is all because she didn’t wash her pads before throwing them out.
Aarushi is an Indian homemaker. On one strange day, when she was on her periods she prepared the food for her family in the kitchen because of the uninformed absence of the servant/ chef. When she was about to serve that food to her husband & children, she noticed that all the food was spoiled that went inedible.
Then they had to call the food delivery. They went to the temple that evening and there was a board saying women on their periods are not allowed into the temple. She said to the person-in-charge that she has already washed her hair clean although it’s her first day of periods. That person responded that she can only enter after the fourth day of her periods.
But her (Aarushi) mother groomed her insisting that taking head-bath on the first day of menstruation will cleanse her and remove all her impurity. But she did not know why it wasn’t effective. Then her husband & kids went into the temple asking her to wait at the nearby shop. In the meantime, she had a wise conversation with the shopkeeper (a middle-aged lady). She asked Aarushi how she managed to give birth to 2 children if she had been taking head-bath on every first day of her menstrual cycle. Because it is believed that doing so will reduce the menstrual flow & make one – infertile. Aarushi replied that she didn’t know that.
Margarita currently resides in Mexico. She was a passionate dancer that she goes to practice after work every day. On that day, during her menstrual flow, she forgot herself into the flow of movements over the flow of menses.
Once she was done with the dance, she realised a piercing pain at her abdomen & pelvic region. The instructor then told her if she was on her period she wasn’t supposed to dance to such active rhythms which could potentially affect her uterus. She also added that her uterus got abnormal years back due to severe straining during menses, before she realised that fact. Margarita listened to her instructor from then on.
Amayah is a resident of the Dominican Republic. One day she was resting at home on her periods. She had a hair wash that day out of fatigue following which she had lemonade for refreshment. Then she painted her nails which she usually does in leisure. When her grandmother came to visit her that day, she found Amayah was suffering from severe cramps all of a sudden (which was unusual to her). Then she drove her to the hospital and advised to follow the sayings (about periods) in society. All the things she did that day was against those beliefs.
Juliana is a Brazilian. She is an adult. On a special day, she washed her hair although it’s her period. Then she visited a party of the colleagues. When returning home, her heels tore out because she slipped and twisted her ankle.
Then she walked all the way home since she was drunk and lost her senses ultimately. She was wandering to get home in that miserable state. That’s when some more misery added – an unfamiliar & severe cramp. She curled down at the road, then thankfully a coworker found her and helped her get home. Her actions of hair wash & walking barefoot during periods led her to this.
Valentina resides in Argentina. She is a teenager. She happened to make whipped cream at her home for a friend (on her menstrual cycle) which made the cream curdle. Then she ordered something online replacing that.
Once her friend left, she cleaned everything & so took a bath. She got shocked that her bleeding (menstrual flow) stopped after her bath. The doctor told them that it’s going to be unhealthy to her. Her mother blamed her for taking a bath on her periods. What can she do now???
Samantha resides in the Philippines as a single working woman. She has always admired her best friend for having a consistent clear & glowing skin. When she (Samantha) asked about the cream her friend uses for the shiny skin, she replied that she never used any cream for that and she washed her face with her first menstrual blood under her mother’s suggestion which is the secret of such glowing skin. For Samantha, it’s already too late to do so.
Greta is an Italian. She opened a new bakery after her graduation. She is a passionate baker. Everything was fine until that day. That day she got her menstrual cycle still she went to work, the dough she prepared didn’t rise, the plants she watered dried & deteriorated short, all the food she prepared turned out sour. Even when she tried to take a bath in a pool after a worse day, she got insane shivering accompanied by fever, cold, etc. All these happened to her for not pursuing the superstitious beliefs (about menstruation).
Bella is a French chef in a restaurant for French cuisines. She was so cautious in not making mayonnaise on her period days. But the situation that day called for an emergency. A subordinate of her made a mistake while preparing mayonnaise which made the customer mad and they asked the chef to make the mayonnaise in person since they were one of the VIP customers.
Bella without any other choice prepared the mayonnaise which curdled (turned into sour) while serving. This made the customer even angrier and they left the membership as the regular customer. Fortunately, Bella stayed in the restaurant since it was her first time making a mistake. She won’t do that again I guess.
Sakura Chan lives in Japan. She is a graduate who is pursuing higher studies. She invited her friends over to her place to treat with her handmade sushi because she specialised in that. On that day, unexpectedly her periods came a week before the usual date. Then she cautiously prepared sushi with extra care, still, it turned out to be a less quality one. Her friends managed to eat that since it was not too bad. But sadly her sushi skills are not exposed.
Ting Ting resides in Taiwan. She was a high schooler. When her parents were out on an occasion on a particular day. She was on her menstruation that day. As a teenager, she was curious to know something by going against her mother’s insistence.
So she washed her hair and left that without drying. Her mom said that only during periods if she washed her hair and didn’t blow-dry that it would cause disaster. But all that happened was she caught a cold for some days. We all know that if she has done the same even on days (apart from menstrual days), she still would have caught a cold. What a belief.
Tiffany lives in Venezuela. She is employed and lives independently. She accidentally shaved her bikini line during her menstrual cycle which caused it to get darker. She then did a lot to recuperate it.
Alejandra is a new mother who lives with her only husband in Bolivia. She unknowingly cradled her child during her first period after delivery. Without any apparent cause, her child fell sick. The neighbour then explained the saying that she shouldn’t cradle children during that time which will make them fall sick. She understood only then.
Arina is an Iranian girl. When she attended her first period (Menarche), she cried out till she fell sick. Her mother cried along with her because she knows and revealed the information to her daughter that menstruation is a disease.
Aaila is an Afghan. She took regular showers during the menstrual cycle to maintain her sanity. And that made her infertile when she got married. She ended up undergoing treatment for gestation.
SOUTH KOREA / CHINA
Min-Seo & Wu Qian are friends. They became close during the school years when Wu Qian was in South Korea after which she shifted back to her home country – China. Still, Min-Seo & Wu Qian remain in contact all these years.
They call each other quite often. One day Min-Seo informed Wu Qian that she will be shifting to China as part of her on-site work. After her shift, once Min-Seo said she was sick during her menses but when she asked her superior for sick leave, she refused. Wu Qian said that the same as in South Korea, even in China a sick leave is under the legislation, So if someone refuses to give sick leave for periods she can file a case against them. This cleared Min-Seo’s hesitation in a foreign land.
So finally, all these short stories are the display of the widespread beliefs I.e., myths & taboos around menstruation in the respective countries. Still, all those actions in the stories are believed & followed by many beyond what you can imagine – as per the surveys.
Thank You for screen-playing these stories. Now teach as many as you can in these malpractices TOGETHER. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!