Nose ring gets Indian-origin girl in a spot
Sunali Pillay took her case to the Durban Equality Court claiming that she was being unfairly discriminated against.india Updated: Aug 31, 2005 23:15 IST
An Indian-origin teenager in South Africa has moved the court challenging a regulation in her school that barred her from wearing a nose ring.
Sunali Pillay, 16, took her case to the Durban Equality Court claiming that she was being unfairly discriminated against by her Durban Girls High School which was not allowing her to wear a nose ring in accordance with her religious beliefs.
The teenager's mother, Navaneethum Pillay, told magistrate A C Moolmanthat the nose ring was not considered jewellery according to the Hindu religion, but rather a family tradition and a cultural practice followed when a girl reaches puberty.
Pillay alleged her daughter had been unfairly discriminated against in the school which failed to take into account her religious and cultural background.
"The school had made no attempt to meet with me or my daughter to discuss the matter," she claimed before the court.
The school principal, Anne Martin, told the court wearing the nose ring was in direct contravention of the school's code of conduct.
She said the school's code of conduct was clear on body piercing and expert opinion obtained confirmed that nose rings were "culturally-based rather than religious."
The magistrate said he would deliver the judgement on September 29 and in the meantime called on all parties not to make any public statements.
The case of Sunali Pillay has drawn widespread reaction in the local media.