From Taboo To Celebrated: Menstruation Around The World

Menstruation Around The World


In some countries of the world, the stigmatization of menstruation goes far beyond the use of euphemisms. Some girls are forced to hide in courtyard buildings during menstruation and are not allowed to go home. Others fight for the right to use tampons and pads and are forced to make do with rags. Sometimes women who publicly advocate breaking stereotypes around menstruation are detained and interrogated.

However, there are countries where menstruating girls are still considered 'unclean' to this day, forcing them to be outcasts. The traditions of some peoples are so wild that rituals for the 'unclean' sometimes end in death.

According to centuries of tradition, the menstruation period for women of all cultures was celebrated as special. The Hindus have distinguished themselves the most in the vilification of women during their periods. They consider a woman on such days untouchable and impose a lot of prohibitions on her.

Menstruation around the world celebration or taboo?


In her period, a woman becomes more susceptible, more vulnerable. Nevertheless, Hindus do not recognize the hormonal changes that actually cleanse the woman's body of toxins during these days. The time of purification and renewal is related to the change of the moon in the sky.

In villages, girls with critical days do not go to school because they are considered unclean, cannot have contact with friends and adults, or touch common school things.

The most zealous worshippers of ancient traditions are afraid of touching and looking at a woman on her "unclean" days. They demand the observance of ancient customs, even those that are forbidden by law in the country

The United States

The tampon tax still exists in most states but has been abolished in only 15 states. Period's campaign by women entrepreneurs seeks to abolish the tax in all 35 states, shifting the narrative of the movement as "illegal, discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional", according to Forbes.


More and more girls are not going to school at that time. When you count, you see that the girls in grades 5 through 12 miss about 5 days of school each month because of menstruation. In addition, many girls did not know they were menstruating. The seventh

percent of girls did not bathe while menstruating because they were afraid of infertility. At that time, women and girls were not allowed to go to social events.


Rites of passage played the role of the main institution of socialization in traditional cultures. Successful completion of the rites allowed the participant to become a member of the community, consolidated a gendered pattern of behavior, and served as a social marker of transition from childhood to adulthood. In Ghana, the first time period is celebrated by the Akan community as a time when older women ensure guidance and mentoring during a big celebration.


In the remote areas of Nepal, all women and girls here are forced to leave their homes during their periods. The ritual is called chaupadi. The women are forced to sleep in separate shacks or basements that are not suitable for living.

They cannot cook food, eat adequately, or even drink water from the common well in the village. They are forbidden to touch plants, livestock, or men. It is said that if a woman touches a cow, she will lose her milk. This, of course, has never happened, but people believe it.

At the end of her period, the woman must bathe in a river an hour's walk from the village and "cleanse" herself with cow urine.


Society's indifference to the menstrual period, the idea that menstruation is something dirty, shameful, and indecent to mention, can keep girls and women at home on such days.

Nevertheless, there exists a tradition - women cannot be sushi chefs as menstruation clearly affects their taste buds. In recent years, women have resisted these claims by opening food courts to get rid of these misconceptions.


Balinese people hold a ceremony called Menik Kelih when a girl first gets her period. Balinese can recognize menstruation with a ceremony, but they still have a long way to go to get rid of the stigma associated with dirty menstruation or anything that should prevent people from entering sacred places.

First Nations: Cree

Menstruation or the 'lunar cycle' is celebrated in Cree people, indicating that you are participating in a ceremony and experiencing a sacred process. That is a very beautiful process when a girl becomes a Cree woman.