What’s Up Ginay?

Kentucky, Lyari, What's Up, Religion
Photo Courtesy: noomad

BY: Shahzad Memon

I am currently on an assignment in Kentucky. When moved in, cross street, at a porch of a house, I saw a woman with head covered and a couple of children around her. She seemed follower of the same faith as mine. I was encouraged but curious to go over to her and say Salaam and she replied generously.

She asked where was I born? After getting my reply, very quickly she said, guess where was I born? I was clueless, looking that she replied herself after a while, “Makkuran -Balochistan”. I looked down for a minute and struggled to comprehend what she has just said, and I looked back at her and said yes you do look like a Makkurani but it’s hard to believe in it. She said, ‘I was born in Makkuran and in my early age I moved with my parents to Kenya and came over to Kentucky with my husband very long time ago and I wish if I could speak Makkurani but my relatives still live in Makkuran.”

When a girl is born in Lyari, she mostly spends time with her Mom and in a female circle. As she grows up, she stays distant from male and knows her boundaries very well that how to secure her integrity and stay in her limits. She learns the importance of covering herself while she goes out and mostly stays in with friends.

“Woman is emotional and likes attention and bears better instincts and gets mature very early on”.

As she gets older, she starts knowing her relations with her Father. Brother(s) and Male cousins and gets familiar with brother’s friends and neighborhood boys. She helps provide services at home to cook, clean and keep the house ready. When her father or brother(s) or invitees enter the house, she helps provide food and any other things which might be needed. Usually, there is not a friendly conversation between her and males. As soon services are no more needed, men leave the house and the house is just used as a service place only. Her Mom and other older ladies encourage her to keep doing the same. She starts learning the segregation between men and women, stay inside only, go covered outside, not to question or challenge anything because it would be disrespectful, she finds herself in kind of a confined environment but emotionally observes the situation and keep it to herself and continue to play her role in the house and don’t let anyone realize how she feels and thinks and what makes her happy.

Ginay only plays with her girlfriends of her age, they play hopscotch (Chippi), doll (duttukk), and she minces and stirs solid soured milk (Shilanch) as Popsicle to taste and shares with her friends to enjoy the get-together. They sew dolls clothes and create an event to get a doll to marry to a male doll and sing wedding songs. Girls gather several male and female dolls; they assign them the roles of father, brother, cosine and friends and same for female dolls and reflect and imitate the society. They take these roles very seriously.

Since dolls in control, they enjoy the attention from role of fiction father, brother, cosines (which they don’t get from their real father, brother, and cousins – at least the kind of level they want) and themselves as wife, daughter and sister, so they enjoy seeing themselves as brides and vision their wedding day!

When they start school, they get a chance to step outside of the house routinely, though they attend girl’s school, they get an exposure to outside world at least between home and school. As they get more mature, they start going to markets as a group and covered from top to bottom. They also get a chance to sit on top of the roof of the house in the evening. Father and brother feel proud that they are in control with scarf (sareeg, a Balochi word used for scarf)) when she is out, BUT totally misses the point that she on one side of the veil enjoys her feminine feelings and she sees the male very clearly (in and out) through the net that what her family males and other males are doing outside of the house (where she is totally restricted to even stand and watch something curious with covered from top to bottom-this is men only territory), from the top of the roof or at the front door, she is able to see men very transparent. So, what is the difference? Male stays outside with male only and female stays inside with female only.

Nature has created us equal and all the time it provides us fine balance. Ginay is intellectual; she observes and feels strongly about things with deep emotions and observations. At happy moments she shows her un-conditional love and at sad moments she deeply mourns. This is emotions.

Ginay stays deep with emotions and monitors if men (father, brothers, and others) treat her equal and give her position in the society she deserves as being equal to men. Despite her finds inequality, she still shows support and helps male, what else does he need? Imagine if she feels equal and given attention and high place in the family to be also a suggestion giver and decision maker? If yes:

SHE gives you a very special place in her heart and un-condition love! If not, then she dissolves it inside of her. That’s how women are naturally wired. What could be a better place than being in her heart?

Once camels were carrying females, Prophet (PBUH) said, move them slowly, glasses are loaded.

It’s pity to get strict with the female, they are the one who owns heaven underneath their feet and makes you complete 1/2 of the religion and gives you children. All they want is to respect their wishes, pay attention and treat them equal and nice, in return we get a special place in their heart and very long lasting unconditional love!

“If we want to find a good balance with anyone, just win her/his heart. Problem is much resolved”.

In some situations, at their weddings they leave the house as dead bodies, one must ask is this a wedding or a funeral? Only cause of their wishes were not respected and are attached to someone they dislike.

So, why that happens? It’s a gap between men and women; honestly, it’s a gap in the relationship between the two. As ginay grows, she finds a distance with men for attention, best friendship, sit and talk, share fun and grief, exchange ideas, be part of family decision making, despite she fulfills men needs but reserves the right not to love you. It requires a pre-requisite, which respects her wishes and pay attention and give her equal place, she deserves and wants to have because she knows well she is equal.

It’s foolish to think; Ginay is in your control by staying inside of the house and covered in a veil, think twice. She blindly sees you and knows you well and your friends. Nature treats both genders equally. Even gates are installed at the end of the street (Galli), one may think they are security gates but NOT.  

Disconnection takes place as soon she becomes a ginay. She is not given a right place and misbalance creates the damage. One of the big mistakes we do is first we don’t check the scope of the problem and second, we don’t work with the issue from early on and let it pile up because of our ego and being stubborn and finally there is a big bang! be patient don’t use emotions and get advice from others.

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, make group decisions, it also implies to family too, have a Ginay say.

Respect her wishes, it’s very natural when she becomes a ginay, she starts having feelings as boys do. Following the religious school of thought, let this process to work for both for better and not to hurt anyone.

Prophet (PBUH) asked his daughter, Fatima, if she would like to get married to Hazrat Ali.

Once one of his companions really wanted to marry a woman, Prophet asked the woman if she would like, she refused and asked the prophet if it’s an order? He said no, I only suggest. He didn’t force.

We MUST learn to adjust with results whether it works or not, if not, DON’T ruin your future contacts-

Ginay grows in an environment where she must listen much more than she can say something but inside, she always looks for someone to fulfill her wishes and helps her to get where she wants to be. As she turns a teenager, she starts having feelings. She monitors and observes deep and uses the venue of veil, roof and front door to see if she finds someone who she thinks is a good fit. Though she knows it would not be easy that everyone one will support her choice rather she will be imposed by choices of others around her. It’s her right to choose but not be chosen.

To understand, she tries first, meaning she wants to be heard but environment really does not help her. As a default/pre-arranged, she is may be decided by others to be with her cosine or someone for rest of her life. But this matter needs to be decided by her and she is the one who accepts at the time of the wedding.

All along, others assemble a robot male for her BUT why her marriage signature is taken from her? This way her signature validates others wishes NOT her wishes, she is the one who owns her signature and signs when she agrees with something from her heart, in case of marriage, it’s a big decision, its serious. That’s what signature means. Why not sign by who pre-arranged it???

Culture overwrites and dominates others wishes and even worse deciding one’s life partner. It’s only appropriate when she doesn’t have a preference and ask for your help if ginay does then positive and respectful discussions needs to take place with her and wise evaluation. If she is making a right choice and not emotional because she is going to open an institution for spouse and children. Sure, males need to be also gone through the same process to make sure he is also a good match and is a good man.

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) accompanied his wife Hazrat Aaisha to watch a male soared game.

Religion provides space to both genders BUT strictly requires a moral curtain in eye “Retina” asks us to lower our gaze and helps create appropriate adult friendship but again in “Retina” NOT without it. Helps process through after you feel about someone to be a life partner. Feelings are natural, sacred and pure. Same goes with ginay too that she must strictly have a thick metal religious detector in place before a male passes through. Religion provides space to meet in public, social media like Facebook, Instagram etc are not a virtual public meeting place? Why it only shows your child’s and your (male) picture only? It rather gets into hypocrisy than a true person. If honest appreciation is in place for females, it would help follow true religious teachings and create a respectful true environment for providing equal space, as we are all created equal with different levels. At least women should be asked, if they will like to virtually put a combined picture or not rather Ginay notices your blind ignorance.

To follow the religion properly, there is a need to follow its guiding principles, it guides you to choose someone appropriate as it has created feelings in you and is there for you to help you to complete the process accurately. Seems we have forgotten religious teachings and fall short on the 2nd phase CHOSE.

To complete, “Ginay” deserves to have help in completing 2nd phase and if provided, ginay will appreciate you as a Daughter, Sister, Cousin and friend and will definitely glow to you and shower you with unconditional love- (ginay only have it for male) and it ONLY costs, asking her “What’s Up Ginay” – Even a smile to a ginay would be a cherish charity! She wants your attention and sincere attentive friendship!