Tuloni Biya: A Moment To Rejoice Menstruation?


Author – Shraddha Agarwal

In my third year of college, I was in my hometown in Assam during holidays when I received an invitation from my friend for her youngest sister’s Tuloni Biya. I had heard about this strange tradition from my friends in school, but I had never personally experienced it. Well you must be wondering what the age of the girl getting married was.

If we think about marriage it is always between two people – a girl and a boy, a girl and a girl or even a boy and a boy. But a girl getting married to something rather than someone is pretty surprising for some of us! It is supposed to be a very important culture prevailing in one of the states in our own country, Assam and is termed as ‘Tuloni Biya’, i.e. small marriage.

Youtube Screen Grab

According to Hindu mythology, when Goddess Sati committed suicide, her husband Lord Shiva became furious and did Tandava Nritya while still holding her dead body on his shoulder. To calm down the situation, Lord Vishnu cut her body into 108 pieces using his Sudarshan chakra. These pieces were thrown across India and Sati’s womb fell on the Nilachal hills of Assam, which is the location of famous Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati. Assamese believe the Goddess still undergoes her menstruation once every year and during this time, the temple remains shut for three days and so does every other temple in Assam.

Source: ScoopWhoop

Assamese believe that if the Goddess can be impure then why not human beings! Hence, when girls of Assamese families reach puberty start with their menstruation for the first time, they are considered to be impure. During that time, they have strict restrictions on what they eat, where they sleep, whom they meet, etc. They are normally asked to stay secluded in darkness so that the impurity does not spread. Looking at the moon, sun, stars and even cows is considered a bad omen.

The girl is considered impure only for the days when she is undergoing her menstrual cycle, but once she gets out of it she is allowed to live her normal life again. Everyone comes together to celebrate the attainment of her womanhood. She is taken out of her secluded room and made to bathe in front of the ladies of the house. Thereafter she undergoes a puja where she is deemed to be married to a banana plant near her bathing area. Few ladies from a different locality pretend to be from the bridegroom’s side and visit the girl’s house, singing wedding songs where the girl’s mother and other family members welcome them with lavish gifts.


Tuloni Biya is celebrated almost as a real wedding which is attended by all the relatives, friends and neighbors of the girl’s family. Everybody comes together to rejoice the commencement of her puberty. It is marked as a prayer to God to give a healthy reproductive system to the girl. This antiquated tradition has been prevailing in Assam since many years, but a few families with modern outlook have stopped this practice considering it to be an orthodox one.

Youtube Screen Grab

I did attend one such Tuloni Biya ceremony at my friend’s house. In most parts of our country where topics like menstruation or sex life is considered to be a big taboo, there are few places where it is celebrated. While I appreciated that fact, somewhere in my heart, I felt bad for the little girl who was treated like an untouchable for the first few days of her menstruation. Was she really impure?

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  1. Nice article. Thanks for writing and sharing. I think impurity might be an opportunity to use enough time to get acquainted with the new changes of the body by that little girl. Enough rest is provided to the body. Atleast for the first time. Afterwards we as girls don’t get time to rest like that during our menstruation time. Life gets busy.

  2. While i don’t support Tuloni biya but you got to write the article with bits of the perspective of the people practising it.the girl is not kept in a dark place, she is isolated in the room so that she there is no danger of infection, she is given bland meals so that her body temperature stays normal, tuloni biya is done as a social event, so that people know that the girl has achieved puberty and people keep an eye that she is protected from abusers, previously they had clothes instead of pads so she is restricted to a room or her bed, so there is no staining. You should have interviewed a bit and then written the article. I was too kept asking around to understand why this is done.

  3. Great and informative article. I actually went through this process but because of Covid – 19, we were not able to celebrate it then. But now, I have my tuloni biya in October. It is actually a good process done by the Assamese as it enables the girl to understand that she is no more a kid and is mature and a women. It should be believed as when we are grown up, everyone think that we are grown up and should be married. So when a girl gets her menstruation, she steps into womanhood and is grown up, so this is her wedding. Thanks Shraddha, well I hope it’s your name ????

  4. It’s a very good and informative article. Though I was born and brought up in Delhi, but my roots are from Assam. As per my understanding, during old days, there were no sanitary pads, or any other means for disposal due to which people used to isolate the girl in order to maintain the proper hygiene. They were given different type of meals, so that they remain healthy and get that strength to bear the pain. Village people who are not that educated, they still carry out the same process and practices due to which it seems like the girl has been left out from the rest of the society. However, now in cities and towns, where people are educated, they do not do these things. Though the celebration “Tuloni Biya” is common among the villages as well as the cities. I would really appreciate if you can edit the part of your article that shows we treat them like untouchable for the first few days of her menstruation. It reflects a negativity about the Assamese people. Assamese people are very lovely, simple and straight forward. We do not even have dowry system. 90% of marriages in Assam are love marriages. Our culture is very beautiful and lovely, that teaches us to spread love and joy among others. Hence, it’s a request. Please edit that part of your article.

    • I am from Assam brother. And yes, she has a point. A lot of the girls are treated as untouchables, which is totally insane. Well not so much in the progressive families, but yeah, they do it man. Which is absolutely wrong.
      And she also is speaking from her own experience, she isn’t talking for the entire state.

      • We are not treated as untouchable but this is done to maintaining hygiene and prevent any infection or health problems from first menstruation as this is the first time for a girl and handling this isn’t easy for any ome, trust me. The whole community consisting of women folk keeps visiting the girl during those days bringing her food consisting of fruits and other fibrous food for maintaining a proper diet as well as giving her company. Their relatives also stay overnight or a few days as it is a celebratory event. The girl doesn’t feel overwhelmed with the changes in her body as she meets her cousins and aunts who rejoice and there is a conversation surrounding it to add more awareness about this change. Altogether it is a celebration of a girl attaining maturity and it is a social and happy event.

  5. Acchut ki tarah koi byabhar nahi karta hai ye galat soch hai logo ki jo niyam sastra me hai di gaye hai usse hi mante hai taki ladki ko koi infection ka khatra na ho issilye alag room me rakhte hai ek hi ghar me aur hamare yeha assam me sadiyon se ye pratha chal ke aaraha hai koi galat nahi hai sabko issi pratha se hi jana padega bihar me south me kerela me delhi me duniya ki har jagah me sanatan dharm ke log isse karte hai.


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