All Indian girls arch their eyebrows and argue vehemently with their mothers when they get around to discussing the traditional norms that they need to follow after they get married. Let’s accept the reality. Gone are the days when the girls focussed on mastering skills like making perfectly round chapattis and table mats with intricate cross stitch work on it before they got married. Modern Indian girls outshine boys in academics, earn a pretty cool pay package and are super confident when it comes to discussing matters that affect them personally and/or professionally. Yet, underneath that cool, calm, unruffled, jeans and kurti clad exterior lies a sensitive Indian soul who wants to understand the reason behind all those cultural traditions and norms that have been followed for centuries. Here are some Indian Traditions that make a lot of sense. We are sure all women would love to adorn themselves in the traditional way once they know the reason and the rationale behind them:
Photo by public.resource.org
Sindoor: The Sign Of Good Fortune
Traditionally the bridegroom applies sindoor along the parting of his bride during the wedding ceremony. It is believed to be a harbinger of good fortune because the house of Aries lies on the forehead and is depicted by the colour red. The colour red symbolises power and represents the female energy of Parvati and Sati. Parvati, the benevolent mother protects all women who wear sindoor in their parting and on their forehead. Sindoor therefore wards off the evil eye and so ushers in good fortune.
Sindoor is actually made from turmeric lime and the metal mercury. This unique combination helps in controlling the blood pressure and also enhances the sexual drive of women. Hence only married women are supposed to apply sindoor on the parting of their hair and on the forehead.
Applying sindoor is akin to invoking the blessings of the entire universe and asking it to protect our life partner from all negative forces!
What a simply beautiful way of inviting good fortune into our lives!
Photo by raylli
The Red Kumkum Bindi – Pays Homage To Our Intellect
When we respect and worship our intellect, we purify our thoughts, actions, speech and behaviour. Red is the colour of prosperity, love and honour. This red kumkum bindi equips us with enough power to face the challenges and ups and downs of life with equanimity and poise.
The red kumkum bindi is worn at the centre of a married woman’s forehead and is believed to enhance concentration and is also a symbol which openly states that we worship the goodness and the divinity that resides within us.
That dainty little red dot can make us wonder and can also work wonders in our lives! J !
Photo by nparekhcards
The Mangalsutra: Binds The Couple Forever!
Relationships are meant to last forever. Life will have its fair share of ups and downs. Life may often test us and challenge us. But the relationship should stand strong and tall despite all the storms that come our way.
This sacred thread called the mangal sutra represents the inseparable bond between the husband and the wife. It protects her marital bond from the evil eye. The mangal sutra also ensures that the detached Shiva like consciousness of her husband remains constantly awakened. The round gold cups in the mangal sutra awaken the energy of knowledge within us and represents Shiva and Shakti – the inseparable divine couple. The black beads are woven into the mangal sutra to ward off negative energy and the gold beads attract the element of fire which creates a protect sheath around the woman!
Yep gals…….that is how intangibly powerful that glistening black and gold mangal sutra is!
Glass Bangles: As Fragile As Our Relationships!
Love has several facets. Compromise, sacrifice, understanding, sensitivity are all muted aspects of this phenomenon called love. Relationships are our biggest asset and we need to nurture them with different aspects of love at different times of our lives. They are as fragile and as beautiful as these glistening tinkling glass bangles and that is the truest symbolic meaning of these glass bangles. Yes, they ward off negative energy thereby automatically usher in positivity in our bodies. Gold and silver bangles are often paired with glass bangles because these metals are believed to conduct the universal energy into our bodies.
No harm in mixing them and matching them with our sarees. Now that we know the real reason behind wearing these charming tinkling glass bangles we should happily wear them!
Photo by sweethaa
Anklets and Toe Rings: Fill Us With Vitality!
Why are they made only out of silver? Why not gold? Well, gold is believed to represent the goddess Lakshmi and it is never worn below the waist because it is considered a sign of disrespect to the goddess.
These charming anklets tinkle with every step that a woman takes thus warding off negative energy. The toe rings are always worn in pairs and on the second toe of both legs. Silver is a good conductor of energy. It is believed that our life force, our prana, flows down to the earth through the hands, feet, fingers and toes. Wearing these silver anklets and toe rings in pairs on both toes ensures that the energy of the earth is absorbed back into the body thereby revitalizing and refreshing us with ‘prana’. When this fine balance of energy is maintained in our body we are equipped with the much needed energy to do all our multitasking on a daily basis!
Also, the nerve from our second toe runs through our uterus and the heart and wearing these silver toe rings ensures a regular menstrual cycle!
Our mothers may not really know the reason behind all those tiny traditional and cultural nuances that we follow. That does not mean they have no value or are meaningless. We have great respect for our mothers because they had the gumption to face all the ups and downs of life with élan. It is now our turn to traverse that path. It may not easy but with such centuries old traditions protecting us all the time, what have we to fear?
Wise, sensible and very very astute………our respect for our ancestors continues to remain at an all time high!