Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hindi Word in English: Suttee

The English word SUTTEE refers to a widow's self-cremation on the funeral pyre of her husband. The word comes from Hindi sati,  which in turn comes from Sanskrit sati, which means "being a woman, being a good woman." The practice was outlawed in British India in 1829. You can read about the history of suttee in this Wikipedia article.

In Hindu mythology, the practice is associated with the goddess Sati, the first wife of the god Shiva. You can read the story of Shiva and Sati in this Wikipedia article.

The image below is a painting, circa 1800, that depicts the act of suttee:


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