Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hathor, the Cowgoddess




We just took our first big trip with Ian after returning to Egypt. We took a Nile Cruise with a sidetrip to Abu Simbel. We flew to Aswan, switched planes and flew to Abu Simbel. From the Abu Simbel Airport, we took a bus to the Aub Simbel Sites where we saw temples built by Rameses II for himself and his wife Queen Nefertari. Queen Nefertari's temple is dedicated to the Goddess Hathor, Goddess of Fertility, Motherhood and the Milky Way, among other things. She is often depicted as a cow or as a woman, sometimes breastfeeding the Pharoahs. Mothering Magazine hosts live chats with Heather Cushman-Dowdee, creator of a character called Hathor, the Cowgoddess. She advocates breastfeeding, babywearing and attachment parenting. Just before I left, I was wondering where she got the name. What a spectacular way to find out! I couldn't take pictures inside her temple, but I did get some in other places on the trip.

I didn't have any problems or negative reactions breastfeeding in public on this trip. In fact, I got pantomine lectures in Italian, Arabic and Japanese telling to me breastfeed Ian because it was best. It usually involved the woman cupping her breast saying,"Baby eat only from mama" or some variation. I do try to be discreet while breastfeeding in public, but a baby's got to eat when a baby's got to eat. It is great to have positive reinforcement from strangers. Of course, women outside the US are much more comfortable expressing their opinions about your parenting than American women. Strangers routinely tell me that Ian is too cold, too hot, should be laying flat, etc. That can get annoying, but on this trip it was all positive.

4 comments:

tanya@motherwearblog said...

Love these pictures and your description of nursing in public! What a neat connection across cultures.

Radical Catholic Mom said...

How wonderful that everyone was so supportive of breastfeeding!

B said...

Great pictures! I have also breastfed my son in public in quite a few different countries around Asia and Europe and got only positive feedback as well.

Velcromom said...

What a terrific and memorable photo there at the foot of the temple! It's always interesting to hear how other cultures react to breastfeeding in public. Such a difference from here in the US!