Tinpahar
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‘The Intolerance of Gender and Identity’

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“In the same Cubbon Park, a small lake is considered sacred and is associated with a prominent jatra, called Karaga, a most exciting all night festivity. I was very curious about the Karaga––the rituals entail a sacred Kalasha (pot) being carried by a man dressed in a saree, clean-shaven and masculine. The yellow saree and jewellery made him a goddess by night but an ordinary man by day. I later learnt that such cross dressing was a common tradition in theatre forms like the Yakshagana and dances like Bhamakalam where men dressed up as seductive women in all their finery. No one talked about being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT)!”

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