We learned about the old Hindu custom of sati in my class and also watched a great Indian film about the lives of widows in India, called 'Water.'
Even though sati is not practiced anymore, the film showed that widows have to abide by certain rules and customs. For example, they were required to wear only white clothes after their husband died, they could not grow their hair long, could not wear jewelry and couldn't even eat good food, just plain rice. They also couldn't remarry and either lived in their husband's brother's home or in homes where only widows lived.
I know that in Indian culture, long hair, colorful clothes and jewelry is so important for women. Taking these things away from them seems like taking away the joy of life.
I think it's been a decade since this film was made. I wonder if life for widows in India have improved at all since then? Does anyone know?
Are there any widow support groups or NGOs helping widows in India for example?