Saturday, August 16, 2008

Today Is Raksha Bandhan!

After we had been in here for a while we noticed that Indians celebrate a lot of holidays. I mean A Lot. So many that they all start to slide by in a blur that hardly catches your attention. Raksha Bandhan is not one of those holidays. Right from the start you can tell that this is an important day.

In a nutshell, today is the day that sisters honor and express their love for their brothers. If a woman is married and lives in a different town, she will often leave her husband's family's house and go back to her parent's house for the few days surrounding this holiday. (Personally I think this has a lot to do with the popularity of the holiday, but that's just me.) You can easily spot the brothers that have been honored by their sisters because they are wearing a Rakhi. Go ahead. You can ask. Remember, their are no dumb questions. (Mrs. Smith, what is a Rackhi?) I'm so glad you asked! According to - A Rakhi or Raksha is a sacred thread embellished with sister's love and affection for her brother. On the day of Raksha Bandhan sisters tie Rakhi on their brother's wrist and express their love for him. By accepting a Rakhi from a sister a brother gladly takes on the responsibility of protecting his sister. In Indian tradition the frail thread of Rakhi is considered stronger than iron chains as it binds brothers and sisters in an inseparable bond of love and trust. Nice, huh?

Last year on this day, during a normal conversation at the office, a young lady asked Mr. Smith how he was doing. "Oh Shashi," he said, "I am so sad today because I have no sisters." Immediately the young women told him to come over to her desk. When he arrived she pulled out a Rakhi and tied it around his wrist. "From now on, I will be your sister!" she declared, and thus, Mr. Smith gained a beautiful (you'll see what I mean in a minute) new sibling.

So today, being Raksha Bandhan again, Mr. Smith's sister, Shashi, invited the two of us to her parent's home to celebrate.

First She Blessed Him

Then She Decorated Him

Then She Fed Him

(just one bite, cuz, well, that could get awkward)

We had a wonderful time, although it made me miss my own two brothers a bit. They are both tall and handsome and provided me with lots of fun stories to tell about my childhood. Someone told me that one of my older sisters who was still single at the time (I won't tell which one) once said that none of the boys she met had turned out as well as her brothers. High praise indeed. On a whim a couple of weeks ago I actually bought them each a Rakhi, but I couldn't think of a reasonable way to get them to Arizona in time. So, for now, they will have to settle for a virtual Rakhi. I'll let them decide who's is who's. No fighting!


Toni said...

Very Sweet! And that is one very beautiful sister. Hey, I will also be Mr. Smith's sister (in-law) and then when Nacho keels over, Mr. Smith can take care of me and my seven kids. Then he won't be sad on that holiday anymore, just completely broke!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

If I told Anna we would be celebrating this holiday, she would run away from home. Hmmm...

Aunt Carol said...

Inquiring minds want to know...Did your girls honor "Dennis the Menace"? Thank you for the great pictures of Mr. Smith and his sister. Don't forget to tell her that makes ME her favorite aunt. (family joke done by brain washing)

Alisa said...

What a great holiday! We had a missionary in our Orem ward return from his mission in India last week and spoke in church. It made me miss you.

Rachel said...

That is such a nice idea...especially considering a lot of sibling relationships are less than nice.