Being brought up in a closed and conservative society, I was taught that conversations on our sex, sexuality, body, period and menstruation are all taboos. Growing up as a woman, I have always been asking myself what menstruation means to me. For me, it’s part of my existence. In fact, it’s very important part of my existence. Although I have never judged menophobia, which a lot of other people felt, I question why we have to speak in whispers about something inherent to our existence.
For some women, it is just natural process of their bodies. For some, it is pain, something they dislike. For some, it is something they are very proud of. For some, it is a taboo. For some, it is something full of myths that they have to challenge.
“Dharmatā” is the result of my visualization process on a part of womanhood within the context of Burmese society, based on my conversations with all the women and girls who trust and shared their menstrual experiences and stories with me.
* Dharmatā is a Sanskrit word meaning the intrinsic nature of things, translated as “suchness” or “absolute nature” as well. In Myanmar tradition, Dharmatā is a colloquial term for menstruation.