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Raksha Bandhan

Today is Raksha Bandhan.  It is a Hindu festival in which the brother and sister bond is celebrated.  It meant nothing to me for years, but now its meaning is deeply significant.  The festival is usually celebrated by the sister tying on a rakhi and the wrist of her brother as a symbol of his giving her his protection.

I never had a brother in the natural way of things.  I am one of four sisters.  It never bothered me in the least.  But when I came to India and got married, I realized the significance of  brothers to Indian women.  When a woman is married in India, she is bonded by law and religion to the family of her husband.  In-laws in Indian society may be good or bad for a woman, just like everywhere else.  But in India in particular, they can be extremely demanding.  Of course it varies from region and family to family, but in certain cases, it can even get out of hand.

Sometimes a woman just needs support from someone she can call her own.  Her in-laws may be the best in the world, but in order to provide the unqualified support a woman really needs at times, in-laws may have too much interest in keeping the woman in a position which may not be favourable to her.  So having supportive natal kin is of great importance.  I have a great family and they are  literally only a phone call - or a net chat - away, if I need to talk or get some unbiased advice.  But they are totally unacquainted with the mentality of Indian people and culture.

When I made Ramana Rajgopaul my rakhi brother (adopted brother) a few short years ago, I got a confidence I hadn't known existed.  I felt able to take on my various problems with a more positive attitude.  He is always there for me, just to listen if I want to talk.  He gives me unbiased advice if I need it and Ramana doesn't mince words.  He tells it like it is and that too with absolutely no diplomacy.  Direct and to the point.  And I absolutely love him for it. He is a wonderful uncle to my kids and although, until date, our relationship is virtual, having met online and continuing to communicate online as he lives in a totally different area of India to me, I am confident that we will meet one day and that we will get on like a house on fire.

Until the day we meet in person and I can tie the rakhi on personally, I send my rakhi by courier and our communications are by telephone and internet.

Thank you, Ramana, for being a wonderful brother to me and for just being there.  I look forward to meeting you in person one day.

Here's a photo of the rakhi I sent Ramana this week.  He's wearing the rakhi in the picture, although he's not actually visible here.  He's posted about it too, and you can read the post here.

Comments

  1. This is a wonderful post, Maria, and it sounds too as if you now have an equally wonderful brother. I've enjoyed reading about Raksha Bandhan, thank you. It's an interesting custom.

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  2. A lovely post, Maria. Your brother sounds lovely and Raksha Bandhan sounds like a wonderful custom :-) x

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  3. Thanks Grannymar!

    Thank you, Sharon, for stopping by and commenting.

    Hi, Teresa, always lovely to see you here. Thank you.

    Maria

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  4. If I was a little fairer, I would be blushing.

    You are welcome little one.

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  5. Hi Maria. My friend does Rakhi for her kids and i love going, it's very traditional and the food after YUUUMMMMM

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  6. Hi Maria,
    What a wonderful custom. I had heard of the bond between *adopted* siblings through my friend's partner, but I hadn't heard of this lovely tradition of Raksha Bandhan.

    Thanks for leeting me know about your post.

    Hugs
    Serena

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  7. Awesome post!!
    Just loved it. Keep posting these cool stuff

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  8. An awesome post Maria and thanks

    ReplyDelete

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