Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Diminishing Identity

NOTE: "This entry is not to hurt anyone. It is just my perspective"

There had been days when girls were yearning to have mangal sutra around their neck, kum kum or sindhoor on top of their forehead, I mean waiting to get married. They had pictured these as a symbol of beauty besides it being the symbol of identity of married women. By the tradition of South India, Mangal sutra and the toe ring had been the sacred ornament. In these days of the stylish era, it is being worn as just an ornament. How many of us know its importance and preserve it? So why is the toe ring worn?? Are we wearing for the purpose of it?

In the words of my Granny,” In olden days, girls wore mangal sutra and the guys wore the toe ring. While commuting on roads, the women wore mangal sutra visible to others and to walk on the street heading downwards, and men would wear the toe ring, so when a married women catches a sight of a man with ring on his toe, she would move away and the guy on looking at the mangal sutra would give her way to go.”

In those days, a toe ring were made only of silver and as gold was considered as the form of goddess Lakshmi, so was looked upon as a disrespect to wear it below the waist. But which is not deliberated in the world of fashion today.

We always like to have pleasant sounds at our house. For example the wind chimes which produce a melodious rhythm, fills s with joy. Similarly, there is a common belief that clashing sound of toe rings chases away evil spirit and brings wellness for the family members.

There is also another belief on medical insight on wearing toe ring is that it regularizes the menstrual cycle of married women. A specific nerve from the second toe connects uterus and heart. So while walking, friction caused by this nerve gives energy to reproductive organs.

This toe ring is gifted to the bride by her uncle after the sacrificial rites, who has a significant importance in the her life. After this, the groom holds the bride’s big toe and takes seven steps to affirm their relationship as friends for life.

So with all these significance in it, do all of us practice and cherish its values? Here is a little comparison with a foreign culture, the English ones. If a guy or girl finds their soul mate, they get to know them in person, understand them, go around dating and stuff till they magically decide to hold their hands. But when asking for her hand, the guy approaches her with a ring and asks, “Will you marry me?” on a perfect evening in all due respects. And the girl on deciding to marry the guy wears the ring as a symbol of love and an identity of their relationship all through their lifetime together. They do have their identity where ever they go irrespective of their lifestyle.

These days, toe rings have become an ornament rather than an identity. Let we not be too orthodox and walk with our heads facing down on roads but it is our duty to preserve our tradition and culture. So wearing it in silver or gold or enameled is not the concern, wearing it is of great importance and will give us the pride of carrying our tradition in whichever lifestyle we be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! ..Beautiful article on our Indian Tradition and values behind it..

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