It’s 2023 and desi families are still not ready for these conversations

KARACHI: As time goes on, dynamics change. What was unacceptable a generation ago has become the norm for the current generation. With changes comes the need for more conversations. However, even though we’re living in 2023, desi families are still not ready to have conversations about matters they really should be having!

1. Mental health – “Log kya kahenge?”

Mental heath is associated with weakness (usually religiously) rather than a medical condition. If you want to see a psychiatrist, it will either be considered a waste of money or you’ll be seen as a threat to your family’s reputation.

2. Domestic violence – “Pitt jana magar kisi ko kuch nahi batana.”

Domestic violence is considered as a private matter instead of a social issue. They don’t talk about it openly because they believe it will bring shame and embarrassment due to which it becomes difficult for people to to seek help. Rather than being a conversation to have with your children, especially those who are about to get married, this is one of those conversations desi families refuse to have!

3. Sex – “Shhh iske barey main baat nahi kartey!”

The word itself contains a lot of stigma. It’s alright to have sex but we must never talk about it. They believe it’s a private matter and talking about it is inappropriate or shameful which makes it difficult for people to get much needed sex education. 

4. Periods – “Channel change kardo, pata nahi kya dikhatey hain.

Periods are still seen as a taboo. Rather than considering it as a normal biological process, they associate it with shame and impurity. Specially in front of men. It’s important to break these walls and create a safe space for honest conversations.

5. Divorce and Second Marriage – “Chup chap baitho, kis ki shaadi main masley nahi hotey?”

Divorce is associated with disrespect and dishonor. It’s like you’ve failed as a person instead of realizing that two individuals are not compatible with each other and can’t live together. People are forced to stay in bad marriages because it will bring shame and guilt to their families.

You would think these conversations were normal to have but not for desi families. Perhaps it’s time?

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