Press Esc to close
Tuesday 06 December 2016
News updated at 2:10 AM IST
Weather
Max: 26.9°C
Min : 18°C
In Bengaluru
Rain lightly

Participation of Indian-origin girls in Zulu fest sparks row

Johannesburg, Sep 7, 2013, (PTI) :
File wikipedia image for representational purpose only

A controversy has erupted over Indian-South African girls participating in a traditional spring ceremony in which young women parade before the Zulu King to confirm their commitment to remaining chaste before marriage.

A group of Zulu maidens who took part in the Royal Reed Dance Festival last week have rubbished the idea of opening the annual event to other races, saying that this would dilute the value of the ceremony.

They accused King Goodwill Zwelithini of giving preferential treatment to Indian and white maidens while paying scant attention to people who have been the backbone of the event since it was revived 29 years ago.

The King and several local Indian leaders close to him announced after last week's ceremony that the festival would be open to all races in future.

Prominent businessman and philanthropist Vivian Reddy, who accompanied a group of Indian girls to this year's ceremony, said they planned to bring many more girls next year.

In the ancient ceremony, which was revived three decades ago by Zwelithini, hundreds of young Zulu maidens from across South Africa march in scanty traditional clothing and most of them bare-breasted, to present a reed to the King at his palace in Zululand, north of Durban.

But the Indian girls, most of them wearing saris and some of them traditional embroidered Zulu items, did not bare their breasts, raising the ire of some Zulu young women.
A group of Zulu women from Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development Organisation in Pietermaritzburg objected to the participation of the Indian girls and one white British national.

They claimed that a serious cultural ceremony was being made out as a fun event by girls from other races.

"Indian and white girls should first believe and respect our traditional religion. They should go through virginity testing and they should dress like all maidens," the organisation told the daily The Star.

Sihawu Ngubane, professor of Zulu at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, agreed, saying the festival could lose its cultural identity.

Part of the process is certification of their virginity by older tribal women as they advise young Zulu girls in their preparation for womanhood.

However, the Zulu royal family said it would not force girls from other cultures to go through virginity testing or to wear traditional attire as that was not part of their culture.

 

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A woman walks past a portrait of J. Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of the southern state...

A woman walks past a portrait of J. Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of the southern state...

A cleaner machine cleans Dal Lake during heavy fog in Srinagar on Monday...

A cleaner machine cleans Dal Lake during heavy fog in Srinagar on Monday...

Artists paint graffiti on a wall to promote cleanliness in Civil Line in Gurugram on Monday...

Artists paint graffiti on a wall to promote cleanliness in Civil Line in Gurugram on Monday...

Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan during the 23rd Annual Star Screen Awards 2016...

Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan during the 23rd Annual Star Screen Awards 2016...

Bollywood actress Rekha performs during the 23rd Annual Star Screen Awards 2016 in Mumbai...

Bollywood actress Rekha performs during the 23rd Annual Star Screen Awards 2016 in Mumbai...

Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Daisy Shahi during the 23rd Annual Star Screen Awards 2016...

Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Daisy Shahi during the 23rd Annual Star Screen Awards 2016...

India's Srinidhi Shetty after being crowned as Miss Supranational 2016 title in Poland...

India's Srinidhi Shetty after being crowned as Miss Supranational 2016 title in Poland...

Migratory Siberial sea gulls flying at Sangam during a cold and foggy morning at Sangam...

Migratory Siberial sea gulls flying at Sangam during a cold and foggy morning at Sangam...

Trainee soldiers undergoing obstacle trainings during a media visit to Army Service Corps....

Trainee soldiers undergoing obstacle trainings during a media visit to Army Service Corps....

The trainee soldiers undergoe obstacle trainings during a media visit to Army Service Corps....

The trainee soldiers undergoe obstacle trainings during a media visit to Army Service Corps....

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523