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5182403334 8698d3d18c Glass Bangle

I grew up seeing my mom wearing those beautiful glass bangles, never in my life I saw her with bare hands. One day while she was washing utensils, a glass bangle on one of her hand broke and she started bleeding. I got really upset and asked her why she needs to wear it all the time and why she can’t open it while working, Ma replied that she cannot as this is a sign of Suhaag. Then understanding the meaning and importance was quite difficult for me, but as I grew up I understood this inseparable connection of the beautiful bangles with a married woman in India.

india bangles photoPhoto by Thejas

Bangles for a married woman in India holds a very special part when it comes to the traditions and culture. I believe this is one of the major reasons why beautiful bangles become the most prominent feature in many folk songs and even in movies. Come with me on a journey to understand the true significance of Bangles in our Indian culture.


Bangles: The Identity Of An Indian bride

india bangles photoPhoto by ind{yeah}

During any Indian wedding, you might notice each and every bride wears beautiful sets of bangles, in fact it is one of the most indispensable part of the Solah Sringar of the Bride to be. Bangles as an ornament is a mandate for all newly-wedded bride. Every bride in India wears bangles as it is believed that this tradition has a connection with the long life of her husband. Traditionally glass and Lac bangles are preferred, but many these days’ wear gold and other metals too.

Bangles have different names in different states, they are also popularly known as Churi. Despite of the Geographical Boundaries the significance of Bangles holds the same position in a married women’s life.


Breaking Of A Bangle: A Sign of In-auspiciousness

glass bangle photoPhoto by Rahul S. Nair

The Bangles signify good luck and affluence. In olden days breaking of the bangles (glass or lac) was considered to be a sign of inauspiciousness. I guess this was one reason why in old days’ ladies used to wear lots and lots of bangles. I totally do not understand this myth even today, how is it logically possible to take care of those delicate glass bangles and still do so much of household work?

See Also -   Bangles- The identity of every Indian Bride

Bangle: For Every Occasion

glass bangle photoPhoto by bengal*foam

With passing time, Bangles are now becoming more and more trendier than before. These days unmarried girls also wear it to get that complete traditional yet contemporary look duting any festival or marriage. But this trendy change hasn’t changed the true significance of the bangles.
Traditionally as I said glass bangles are the most preferred ones, women wear it for all religious occasions and even on weddings. On the other hand, trendy looking Bangles with some geometric designs are worn by women during occasions and parties.

Importance Of Bangles In Different States Of India

gold bangle photoPhoto by Iqbal Osman1

India as we know is a country with different states, and each state has a separate set of rituals associated with bangles. Some wear it as a symbol of being a married woman, while some other wear it to ensure her married life is always full of love and warmth.

South India

Gold in South India is something which is considered to be extremely auspicious. South Indians wear Gold ornaments in all religious functions, marriage and even parties. As a symbol of fertility and prosperity the brides of some South-Indian communities wear green colour glass bangles matched up with some heavy gold ones too.

West Bengal

Heard of Shakha & Pola? These are red and white coloured bangles which display the traditions of Bengal. The new bride wears the Shakha and Pola which is basically a white coloured shell bangle along with a red coloured coral bangle. What adds further to the beauty of the Shakha Pola is the Gold Plated Iron Bangle gifted to the bride from her mother-in-law when she comes into the house for the first time.

bengali bride bangle photoPhoto by Salil Wadhavkar

Rajasthan & Gujarat

Newly wedded brides wear Chooda or Ivory Bangles in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. There is a dedicated ceremony held in a Gujarati wedding which is called Mameru, in this ceremony the bride’s maternal uncle gifts her chooda along with the traditional bridal wear which is a silk saree with red border.

See Also -   Sindoor - Accident or Custom

punjabi bride photoPhoto by jasleen_kaur

Punjab

Chooda, this is one name that immediately connects us with the state of Punjab. Punjabi brides to be wear beautiful ivory and red coloured bangles which are known as chooda. These Chooda’s are gifted to the bride by her maternal uncle. Depending upon the groom’s family custom, the bride wears these bangles for that particular period of time, the time ranges from forty days to a year.

Maharashtra

Green is the auspicious colour for the Maharashtrains, this colour signifies new life, creativity and fertility. The new bride wears green colour glass bangles particularly in odd numbers, these glass bangles are matched with Patlya (solid gold bangles), Kadas and Tode. Mostly the Gold Bangles worn by the bride is gifted to her from the groom’s family.

Bangles & Its Connotation With Colours

punjabi bride photoPhoto by DFAT photo library

When it comes to any auspicious ceremony or festival, Indians become very possessive about colours. The Indian culture considers few colours auspicious and few non auspicious too. In some cultures, the colour Red is a symbol of prosperity and energy and prosperity. On the other hand, the colour green signifies fertility and good luck. Yellow signifies happiness and orange signifies success.

Coming to metals Gold is considered a symbol of prosperity and fortune and silver signifies strength and commitment. In most of the communities in India the colour Black is not considered to be auspicious, hence avoided during any auspicious ceremony or function.

Don’t consider bangles to be just another ornament, ask an Indian woman if you really want to understand the importance of Bangles. These mere Bangles signifies her identity. For married women the importance of wearing bangles is related to her husband good health, prosperity and luck. They are much more than just accessories.


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