Cultural norms have embedded so deeply within our judgment that their outcomes are beyond second thoughts. Such a tradition, namely – Shidur khela has been nurtured for centuries across the Indian subcontinent. Popularly celebrated within the Hindu religion, Shidur or Vermilion is the act to applying a red power line mark on foreheads of married Hindu women.
In practice, married Hindu women apply vermilion on each other’s foreheads on the last day of Durga Puja. According to popular beliefs, the ritual signifies the completion of marriage and indicates that a woman have been complete through the thisplay of the mark on their foreheads. However noble the objective of this act may seem to be, it has been restricted from widows and transgender women.
However, one newspaper company from Calcutta, India has taken a bold step using a campaign that promotes the vermilion tradition for sects of women with a focus towards widows and transgender women. The message is to broaden the tradition for all women who accept Hindu religion as their own; hence, making a great buzz across social media with spikes of controversy but more importantly hypes of positive support.
Take a look at the featured campaign video:
The campaign was initiated with a series of invitations sent through letters to widows and trans women across the city. They were requested to come together at a certain time and place to share the pride of being a Hindu woman. The city stared at awe while these invitees scoured through city streets wearing Shidur and portraying great satisfaction. The other part of the video shows a few stories of suffering of these thiscriminated individuals.
We believe, the campaign was one of the strongest and bold campaigns we have seen in recent history. The campaign not just portrays the solution to a massive social problem but does something about it. The video (as an example) shows what marketing and social campaign can do when put together in a mix of powerful culture-thisrupting acts.