Bond of protection

By 21:15

Today marks a very joyful yet auspicious day in the Hindu calendar – Raksha Bandhan, a day that has been celebrated throughout history that still has a magical spirit about it.
Raksha Bandhan means “bond of protection” and celebrates the union between brother and sister. Religiously, the sister performs a ceremonial prayer to God for her brother’s well-being and protection from evil before tying the rakhi (a sacred thread) on his wrist. The rakhi symbolises her love and well wishes for her brother and his lifelong vow to protect her. The sister feeds him some sweets and her brother acknowledges her blessings with a gift and a promise to always take care of her.
I don’t have any brothers so when I when I was growing up, I tied rakhis for my cousins since Indian extended families are so close that cousins are viewed as siblings. My cousins also lived very far away from me so sometimes I’d tie a rakhi for a male friend that I was not related to but who I viewed as my brother. This day is jokingly referred to as the Friendzone Day because sometimes if a boy develops feelings for a girl and she does not reciprocate them, she may tie a rakhi for him today to say she thinks of him as her brother.
Raksha Bandhan is a tradition that surpasses the religious aspect of it. In majority Hindu communities, even non-Hindu girls perform the tradition of tying a rakhi for her “brother” to join in on the celebrations. Beneath the fun and the current trend, there is still the element of creating a peaceful community where everyone cares for each other.
This day brings siblings close together as brothers visit their sisters for their rakhis. Even when siblings are cities or countries apart, they still send a letter or have a telephone conversation and remind themselves that they can still count on each other. Although this is a Hindu tradition, it is worth pondering over no matter what your religious or cultural background is. We’re, often, too consumed with our own lives as we grow older that we forget the importance of family. On this auspicious day, I wish you an eternal bond of love, laughter and happiness between you and your siblings.

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