Feminist experts understand the new proof of virginity rituals since the evidence of the fresh patriarchy’s twice standards and you will command over female sex

Feminist experts understand the new proof of virginity rituals since the evidence of the fresh patriarchy’s twice standards and you will command over female sex

By Anna Temkina and you escort in Little Rock will Lilit Zakaryan, Agency of one’s Sociology of Societal Health and Gender, European College from the St.Petersburg, Russia and Federal Academy out-of Sciences, Armenia

Karmir khndzor (Armenia)

Comparison your ex love – using assessment her virginity – to help you affirm honor and you can standing out-of their family relations is present in the a selection of ‘sheet ceremonies’ inside the patriarchal societies from the Mediterranean cultures so you can Latin American peasantry and you may Indian castes, once the Old (Kandiyoti 1988, Carpenter 2005, Ortner 1978: 19). Parallels can be found towards habit of blaga rakija from inside the Macedonia. Females virginity is associated with public prestige because the an effective woman’s standing from the personal construction is placed because of the how ‘pure’ or ‘polluting’ she is (Ortner 1978: 24-26). It religion has been ‘enforced by health-related and often some severe command over ladies’ public and especially sexual behaviour’ (Ortner 1978: 19). Based on Simone de- Beauvoir, virginity was good patriarchal construct and this objectifies females once the Almost every other (1949 ).

Karmir khndzor try rarely stated about Armenian ethnography from the later 19th and you can very early twentieth many years just like the Armenian society is actually mostly quiet for the circumstances out-of sex. Predominantly male ethnographers don’t investigate the wedding nights ceremonies in the adequate outline through its female informants. In case the bride try really younger, the fresh routine wasn’t performed towards the relationship nights anyway and you may is actually put off for quite some time (Shagoyan 2011: 497). Red apples used to gamble a different sort of role throughout the regional traditions accompanying the increasing loss of the fresh new bride’s virginity (Shagoyan 2011). Given that symbolic of fertility along with a sexual meaning, apple was utilized as the a present box to have gold jewelry, skilled to your bride to be. Brand new spherical model of the fresh fruit represented ethics and perfection and you will the fresh virginity of your own bride-to-be try as well interpreted once the her ‘integrity’ (tselostnost, compare to tselka, ‘virgin’).

The present day form of karmir khndzor that’s active throughout Armenia plus numerous diasporic communities shot to popularity during Soviet months into the boost of urban migration about seventies. Brand new routine contains the pursuing the rules: Towards the early morning following marriage, a small set of people (the couple’s godmother or groom’s mother, maternal sister otherwise partnered aunt), constantly 2 or three, give mom of bride a rack regarding oranges, sweets and you will cognac. The newest groom’s mother encourages the lady neighbours or personal loved ones, once more 2 or 3 lady, over having java, beverage, sweets and you can good fresh fruit. This new godmother slices the new oranges towards five pieces and shares him or her for the customers. Cakes by means of a fruit are the right current. The fresh practice is sold with about three tips: examination, sanctioning and you will recognition. After the groom’s mother or any other female choose traces regarding bloodstream to your bedsheet of the bridal partners (examination), brand new bride gets a gift in the event of the girl confirmed virginity otherwise a conviction and censure in the eventuality of incapacity (sanctioning). On the next step, a red-colored apple or a dish having apples is sent just like the recognition towards the bride’s mother, whom awaits it signal followed by loved ones or neighbours during the this lady house (Shagoyan 2011, Pogosyan 2010).

Job look presented throughout the mid-2000s indicated that karmir khndzor try did very rigorously and you will vigilantly from inside the rural places that intercourse norms was in fact more conventional and hierarchical. Regarding cities, the fresh new behavior grabbed a more moderate form – new routine are did nevertheless the virginity evaluation is actually a great deal more easy (Temkina 2008, 2010). Several transform possess helped change the fresh routine once the 2000s (Temkina 2008, 2010, Pogosyan 2011). First, the latest ritual could have been articulated regarding public commentary by news, NGOs as well as the ladies path, and in academic discourse, instructional programs and you may school programs toward intercourse, sociology, mindset and you may equivalent specialities. Virginity has been politicised after numerous NGOs (Wo-men’s room Capital Cardiovascular system regarding Armenia, UTOPIANA, WOW) structured activities aimed at deconstructing the routine that have headings such ‘Purple Fruit is only to own eating’ and ‘We ask that the funeral service of your Purple Apple for the 8 out of .’ It’s got influenced the fresh new impact off karmir khndzor because of the more youthful years just who turned into very likely to find it just like the an enthusiastic old-fashioned habit of closeness control. 2nd, it became you are able to to produce virginity. Women that had premarital dating you may simulate its virginity for their husbands and/otherwise parents-in-law because of the in the process of a medical hymenoplastic techniques in order to reconstruct the hymen and have demostrated the cultural love and you can honourable femininity. Of the medicalising the fresh new karmir khndzor routine, gynecologists could help lady to build a regular bio and boost their lifetime odds to have a typical age much more prominent to have partners to refuse to be involved in the new ritual otherwise to help you ‘save’ the newest women’s virginity. Due to the fact sexual relationships turned so much more liberal and thought to be owned by an independent areas out-of personal lifestyle, karmir khndzor is actually relegated to a good ceremonial and you can social icon inside the the latest national marriage and has now shed the relationship so you’re able to virginity, for example is the case out of a wedding veil from inside the Russia.

Karmir khndzor is actually swept up on the tensions between federal label and modernity. As the ritual stands for Armenian society and you may conventional gender opportunities, people that refute new ritual exposure being considered less than best Armenian residents and you may ladies. Yet those who rigidly stick to the routine is seen as backwards and you may traditional by the their competitors. However, pro- and you will fraud- thinking so you can karmir khndzor are better thought of as being located to your a range. Both teenage boys and you will lady can get object to your virginity shot acting as a procedure of power over their closeness and private life. Other days, female may prefer to remain their virginity ahead of matrimony and to think it over a significant social traditions you to definitely fosters kinship solidarity. Specific will get agree to preserve the virginity, but hate the public verification following relationship. Many teenagers view non-relationship intercourse once the appropriate for both men and women and you may believe karmir khndzor entirely archaic. Because the patriarchal intercourse system forgotten its rigidness, all of the positions concerning behavior mean insufficient one societal opinion towards practice (pick intricate situations to own carrying out the routine inside Pogosyan 2010).


Poghosyan, A beneficial. 2010. Some of the attributes of this new transformation of one’s society “Red apple”: Customs and Modernity for the Armenian Culture, Yerevan: Gitutyuan, 359-367

Shagoyan, Grams. 2011. ‘” One week, eight nights”: Vista of Armenian marriage, Institute out of Archaeology and you can Ethnography from National Academy out-of Sciences, RA, 496-509






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