India / Southeast Asia

Tied a Rakhi

Tuesday was the holiday of Raksha Bandhan in India. It is a remembrance of an Indian queen who called on a Mongul king not to attack her people and instead to protect them. She sent the Mongul king a bracelet representing her love and prayers and by accepting it he was forever obligated to protect her like a brother. Today, all over India on this day men are tied a rhaki with beautiful ornate bracelets and thus are obligated to protect whoever has tied the bracelet on them for life as a brother.

On Monday I read an article in the paper about the holiday that said because denying a rhaki is inauspicious many boys in high school and college will skip class on Raksha Bandhan to avoid being tied a rhaki from girls they like. They see it as the ultimate banishment to the friend-zone to be looked at as a brother.

Tuesday in class, we were each given rhakis to tie to one another’s wrists and wore them for the remainder of the day.

I could get used to all the many holidays in India, it feels like there is always something to celebrate!

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2 thoughts on “Tied a Rakhi

  1. What an awesome tradition! As a Unitarian Universalist we celebrate all sorts of holidays to teach our kids about cultural diversity in a more tangible way. I am totally going to do this one next year.

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