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Rupa, a hijra, dances at the Kali Pooja, a Hindu religious festival held in October. During such festivals it is quite common for young people to hire hijras to perform at their private parties. A hijra is a physically male or intersex (hermaphrodite) person who is considered a member of the 'third sex'. Bengali society, despite its conservatism, has traditionally tolerated the hijra?s ascribed dual role of flirtatious comic and spiritual being.