Where Girls Rule

Families in Khasi culture are matrilineal.

Children take their mother’s last name, the youngest daughter in the family gets the inheritance and men move into their mother-in-law’s home after marriage.

The result? A society where girls seem instilled
with a remarkable sense of self-confidence from birth.

Perhaps the rest of the world should take note. “To disrespect a woman here is to harm society,” said photographer Karolin Klüppel  in an interview with Mic. The Berlin-based photographer’s latest photo series focuses on Khasi girls and young women. Klüppel says the Khasi girls she met are “very present and wild in a positive way, but also respectful and responsible-minded.”

“I decided to make a portrait series of the girls because I was so impressed by their self-assured appearance and thought that this must be how matriliny becomes visible.”
– Karolin Klüppel, Photographer

She also wanted to show the girls’ everyday physical environment — where they live, how they play. The result is a series that vibrantly renders life in Mawlynnong, a Meghalaya village where much of Khasi culture is centered. Klüppel has appropriately titled the collection “Mädchenland” — or, translated into English, “Kingdom of Girls.”

Be sure to toggle thru the slideshow above
for more “Madchenland” images.

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Local Khasi reporter Patricia Mukkum told BBC that her upbringing is the driving force behind her success as a self-sufficient career woman and mother.

“Our culture offers a very safe sanctuary for women.”
– Patricia Mukkum, Khasi Reporter

“Matrilineal” doesn’t actually translate to “matriarchal” in their culture. Men still occupy all the chief government ministry positions in Meghalaya. Click here for more information about how there is a growing Men’s Movement in Meghalaya, India.

A society that empowers girls and invests in their confidence from day one
produces powerful, confident and self-sufficient women.

And that’s a good thing for everybody.

4GGL thanks .mic for this story. 

.mic is a website with news for today’s young people. They believe substantive news can also spark interesting conversations. Here is “who they are” in their own words:

Mic’s approach to news is as unique as our generation. We’re founded on a simple idea: Young people deserve a news destination that offers quality coverage tailored to them. Our generation will define the future. We are hungry for news that keeps us informed and helps us make sense of the world. Too many media outlets overlook us or assume we only want to read fluff. We know that young people are inquisitive. They have a healthy skepticism for conventional wisdom. Mic’s editors and writers share those attributes with our readers. This sensibility informs everything we do.


All photos courtesy of Karolin Klüppel. 

You can see more of her amazing photography on Karolin’s website.

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