By Prof. Dr. Satish Rohra
The Hindi word 'Sanskriti' has its equivalent in the English language as culture, though the fact remains that the word culture does not exactly reflect what the word 'Sanskriti' embodies in itself.
In Sindhi and in other Indian languages, the word 'Sanskriti' denotes the feminine gender. Normally there are no such fixed grammatical rules which dictate how to identify the gender of inanimate objects. It is felt, some known and collective social consciousness might have played the role in deciding the gender of this word. Generally, objects and ideas that are soft, small, delicate, brittle, beautiful and subtle are considered to be of the feminine gender. For example, small boxes, a stick, the neck, beauty, art, etc. and objects or ideas that are big, fat, hard and immovable are considered masculine, viz. a big box, log of wood, show off, etc.
The word Sanskriti is not only that soft and delicate feeling of society but also has an intimate and direct relation to a woman. It is therefore, quite possible that due to some unknown thought process, the word Sanskriti is of the feminine gender in Sindhi and other regional languages.
Society, civilization and culture have a very intimate relationship with each other, which in turn has a close relationship with the womenfolk.
After the formation of society, civilization is evolved and the subtle aspects of civilization grow to become the basis of Sanskriti or culture.
Man started life as a wanderer and a nomad, hunting animals for his livelihood. After some time, he settled on the river banks and took up agriculture for a living. This was the most important stage of evolution of mankind and woman was the driving force behind it. It was very difficult for woman to wander along with man and because of her biological need of child rearing; it was difficult for her to lead a nomadic life. She required a settled and peaceful environment to contribute to the continuation and proliferation of her progeny. Therefore, woman became the starting point and the cause of human civilization and culture.
Man, by nature is a nomad and does not prefer being at one place for a long time. He does not have attachment with a particular place as compared to woman who is rooted to the land. The heartrending cry that emanates from the inner soul of Marui for her native land Maleer is beyond imagination for a Maru. A woman always longs to see her village, her kith and kin and her family members, while a man is hardly affected by any such feelings. Even today we see the social customs, rituals, festivals and fasts being observed strictly by women.
It is therefore essential that to protect and propagate the Sindhi culture, the woman power should be awakened. Awakening of woman power is true devotion of to the Culture.