Desert Flower – Waris Dirie

I came across a biographical article by Waris Dirie – ‘Desert Flower‘. Waris Dirie is  a supermodel whose was born in Somalia. The short story just gave me chills. For the first time in my life, I came to know about the age old cruel practise in african countries among the women, the infibulation. It is exactly the opposite to the male circumcision followed by the muslim community.

I was purely melting away, reading the pain and the agony faced by Waris in her childhood. the path that made her grow to the top of the society, made her voice so loud and clear to tell the world about her past, the past, present and still the cruel future every human female born into the wild cradle of Africa. I was touched by her childish ignorance, the sudden exposure to truth, reality. The mutilation leaving a life long impact, that gets reminded when she goes for a piss everyday. I am aware of many cruel rituals that was a part of human society from over centuries. But when the rituals are just for pain and agony, that too done by parents to each of their female kid as part of their life goal, it is more bitter and unacceptable.

The practise called infibulation is based on the foolish wisdom in Somalia and surrounding african countries that there are bad things between a girl’s legs, a woman is considered dirty, over sexed and unmarriageable unless those parts–the clitoris, the labia minora, and most of the labia majora-are removed. Then the wound is stitched shut, leaving only a small opening and a scar where the genitals had been.

It chills my nerves with the very mention of it. Even today, it is followed in most of the uneducated families in Africa. And based upon the living and economic standards of the state, it accounts for majority of the population. I just wonder why the government didn’t ban such practises yet. In India, there was an age old ritual called ‘Sati’. In this, a widow was burnt alive along with her husband’s pyre. It was cruel and inhuman denying the right to live. The India Government has  banned ‘Sati’ and has declared it as a Criminal Offence. A similar act should be enacted in all places following this custom. Educating the mass is another prospect. But, I too wonder, what education can bring in, when people in those countries are starving for a day’s food.


One thought on “Desert Flower – Waris Dirie

  1. gyanban

    It is even more horrifying to know that sometimes well read and educated families too have age old customs in this day and age of science…I get a feeling that world has stood still for them since 1910..and 2010 for them is just a bad dream!


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