Like the Muslims, the [Hindu] mother and child are secluded in the corner of a room. The pollution affects not only those who willingly or accidentally touch the mother and child, but all of one’s blood, rakta, and gotra attiya (relatives) … The Hindu notion of pollution, unlike that of the Muslims, is tied to purity/pollution concepts as these relate to caste and kinship principles. For the Muslims, birth or death rituals, the latter is the most polluting of all life cycle rites, does not necessarily imply that all one’s relatives are affected by the pollution. However for Hindus all the jnati (male linked kinsmen) are polluted; in the Muslim case only those who touch the mother or child are polluted.

  • Source: Fruzzetti, Lina M. Kinship and ritual in Bengal: anthropological essays. New Delhi: South Asian Publishers, 1984.
  • Culture: Bengali
  • Location: Asia