Remarriage and The Sati
The higher castes do not allow the widows to remarry but the lower castes
allow remarriage. In some cases after the death of the older brother,
the younger one marries the widow. Some times the widow leaves her husband's
house and moves in with someone. This is known as Ghar Karna (taking another
house). Among the lower castes a woman may make four to five such changes
of spouse in her lifetime. In such cases the new husband has to undertake
the responsibilities for all the children born of previous marriages.
The Dehris (monuments) outside most villages are reminders
of the prevalence of the system of Sati in which the widow burnt herself
on the funeral pyre of her husband. Among the higher castes, the husbands
presence is the only security for most woman. They observe a lot of fasts
and perform many rituals to prolong their husband's life. Among them,
even if widowed young, a women must suffer her widowhood till her dying
day but may not take another husband.