Newly wed Indian women are full of energy and regularly follow rituals praying for their husbands’ long lives. Although this enthusiasm fades away with time, they follow the rituals nevertheless. I often feel if they knew what those rituals were for, they wouldn’t remain just a set of rituals but would become an inseparable part of their routine that they wouldn’t mind doing. Rituals, often, are more fruitful when it is associated with the right intention and though while performing them, for, the procedure is a mere physical manifestation of something more superior and auspicious. Here are 3 rituals most Indian women follow after marriage and what they signify.
1. Sindoor and Bindi
Apart from the fact that Sindhoor and Bindi make it easy to distinguish a married woman from an unmarried one, they serve purposes beyond just being a signpost. The association of the color red to something auspicious and sacred is not something new in India. Specifically speaking, the color red signifies femininity quite simply because women menstruate and the color of their blood is red. It is a symbol of opulence, health, and power.
Beyond all of that, it is a sign of equality and that all women irrespective of caste, religion, color, etc. are all embodiments of Shakti, the unfathomable Power of The Lord. This is exactly why you apply vermilion in between your eyebrows and in the central parts of your head where there is an abundance of Power. It is a practice that suggests surrender, not just to the physical body of your husband but to the God who resides in him.
2. Toe Ring
This is another ritual that most Indian women hailing from various regions follow meticulously. Indian woman wears toe rings, again, as a mark of her marital status. However, it doesn’t stop there. A toe ring is worn primarily on the second toe of the feet. Talking in terms of acupressure, the pressure that the toe ring creates on the second toe helps in accentuating the sexual vigor which is of paramount importance in a woman’s married life. For similar purposes, men, occasionally wore toe rings to enhance their virility. Moreover, the metals of toe rings (usually silver or copper) aid as a tool in passing the electric charge from the earth to the body since metals are good conductors of electricity. Also, it is believed that wearing a toe ring causes friction in the second toe which according to reflexology helps in relieving pain associated with intercourse.
One of the most used parts of your body is usually hands and women who spend most of their time in tackling the household chores use their hands and arms even more. Bangles keep moving while the woman is working and this allows more blood circulation in the wrist area. This is where the pulse is checked, and even if the pulse is at its faintest, you can feel it at the wrist. That makes it an important part talking in terms of circulation.
Also, baby showers in India often include the ceremony of making the mother-to-be wear bangles. This generates a soothing acoustic stimulus that evokes a response in the growing baby. This is how the mother usually begins bonding with her baby even before he is born. Another reason why girls, married or otherwise, are asked to wear bangles is that the sound made by clinking bangles wards off any negative energy in the house filling the house with a feel-good, positive and feminine vibe.
Rituals and customs are such beautiful conglomerations that appeal to the aesthetics, to the scientific rationale, and somewhere also to the deeper truths of life. If we could understand the nuances of all these rituals we would, I am sure, follow them each day with much more reverence and fervor. But thankfully with whatever attitude we stick to these rituals, the impact it leaves is almost the same. It is just that you feel more connected to your roots if you knew what they meant. What is your take on this? I’d like to hear from you. Comment below to tell me.