Today I am going to tell you about another Indian tradition/festival.
(translates to A Bond of Protection). On this day, Sisters tie Rakhi (think of this as a Friendship Band) to their brothers. They get dressed, cook for their brothers, feed them their favorite sweets/candy and in return the brothers promise to protect and nurture their sisters. The tradition has been going on for thousands of years. In 16th century India, wars have been abandoned because the Queen sent “Rakhi” to the opponent thus making him her “Brother”. Today young girls enjoy “gifts” from their brothers as a token of their love.
I am calling it “Brother’s Day”.
In my opinion the bond between a brother and sister is the purest form of a relationship between a man and a woman. So why am I telling you this today? Because it IS that day today! On this day I am reminded of my childhood, looking forward to rakshabandhan as the day where it’ll all be about me and when I’ll receive lots of gifts from my brothers. And it’s not just my own brother. It’s cousins too! So you can see why sisters would look forward to this. The young boys would hate it! Because its the day when they get “nothing” and all the gifts are for the sisters. So we started buying some small gifts for them too! But nothing compared to what the girls would get 🙂
Gift giving aside, for me, it’s a reminder of the fact how blessed I am to have not one but three very loving brothers who would be there for me at the drop of a hat should I need them. Three brothers who although are much younger than me, would do anything for me. A reminder of how much fun we had growing up. The pranks we played, the innumerable fights we had and the secrets we kept. Not to mention the shoulders we cried on…
And being thousands of miles away from them is as hard as it gets, as you can imagine. So, as I was sending my Rakhi in mail the other day, the vibrant colors of the rakhi inpsired me to share this with you and I snapped a picture. The red colored powder is called “Roli”. Its mixed with water to create a thick paste and is used to mark a “Tilak” more like an elongated “Bindi” on the brother’s forehead. The rice is then stuck to the tilak. It’s all very divine and beautiful!
Here are some photos from 2007 when I was in India for Rakshabandhan.
The lovely woman in the background is my grandma!
Happy Rakshabandhan to everyone who celebrates it and to all those who don’t, pick up that phone and call your brother or sister and tell them how much they mean to you. Life’s too short not to!