স্ত্রী নয়, আমি এক নারী।
Not your Stri, I am a Woman.
They say, “Purda is a norm, not a choice.”
Literally translated স্ত্রী(Stri) or স্ত্রীলোক (Strilok) means “woman, wife, lady, and bedfellow, or weaker sex, womankind, and womanhood.” Contextually, however, the word is often synonymous to the concept of a wife as the weaker and more submissive role in a domestic relationship. A Bangla saying that reads, “A wife’s heaven is at the soles of her husband’s feet,” captures the concept of purda in Bangladesh, where being a spouse is not considered a partnership, rather a dutiful reverence to the needs of her husband, her marital family, and thereby the socially acceptable roles of womanhood as the weaker sex. Purda, subtracted from the religious context and within the marital boundaries, is often symbolic of the socially accepted weakness, and as the established gender adjective for women. This piece highlights exactly that in framing the act of purda with a bridal veil while constricted by the walls of gender norms.
দাসী নয়, আমি এক নারী।
Not your Dashi, I am a Woman.
They say, “When a man cooks, it’s an art. When a woman cooks, it’s her duty.”
Literally translated দাসী (Dashi) means “woman, maid, or maidservant.” Contextually, however, the word often refers to housework that are customarily duties of the wives of the household. Wifely duties often include cooking, cleaning and caring for the house. Or in most cases managing the servants of the household (mostly female) who are carrying out those wifely duties. This piece uses textures and symbols to draw attention to these roles in questioning this translation that is synonymous to women being culturally identified by their wifely duties.