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MEHNDI : मेहँदी / ‫مہندی‬ BIRTH CEREMONIES : HINDUISM :

Pregnancy: During pregnancy, numer-


CULTURES &
-ous ceremonies are performed in order
to ensure the good health of the mother CUSTOMS
and baby.
Birth: At birth when the umbical cord
is cut, a golden spoon is held to the lips
of the child and the work ‘vak’ (speech)
is whispered in the ear, three times.
Infancy: Many rituals are performed at
each important stage of the child’s life
Historic evidence suggests that such as their first temple visit, first hair-
the culture of Mehndi dates back cuts, the first time being fed solid food
to the twelfth century in India. It and the ear-piercing ceremony.
was used for its cosmetic and
healing purposes. It is a tempo- FUNERAL CUSTOMS :
rary staining of the skin which is Hindu’s believe that their deceased
used for decorative means dur- should be cremated. The male family
ing celebrations such as mar- members of the deceased take charge of
riages, Diwali, Eid and many the final rights and often after the fu-
other holistic festivals, which oc- neral, they proceed to shaving the hair. LIFE
cur in these modern times. Everyone who attended the funeral goes
Mehndi or Henna designs are to have a purifying bath before returning
ORIENTATION
known as temporary tattoos in to cook a meal to share with the less for- PAMPHLET
the western world. Mehndi aids tunate. The remains and ashes of the de-
in others learning about Indian ceased are collected and thereafter im-
traditions and heritages. mersed in a holy river. Mikhila Daya 9E
HINDUISM : CULTURES AND CUSTOMS

WEDDING
CUSTOMS:

The holy date and time of the


WHAT IS union of the couple is given after con-
sultation with the astrologer. The
HINDUISM? BRIDEGROOM is represented as the
GOD and the BRIDE is represented as The bridegroom is adorned in his
HINDUISM, a way of life, the GODDESS. The bride is adorned in finest kurtha’ (suit) and tradition-
rather than a religion is often re- the richest of colours and the finest ally arrives on a white horse or in a
ferred to as ‘SANATANA jewelry. Her hands are decorated with lavish car, which also symbolizes
DHARMA’, which in translation Mehndi and her husband’s name is the price coming to wed his be-
from Sanskrit to English, means hidden in the designs for him to find, loved princess. The couple take
‘THE ETERNAL LAW’. Hindu- this is a game played to test if the seven steps in the northerly direc-
ism is made up of a combination groom’s love for her is true. tion which each symbolize a vow
of various traditions and has no regarding their marital life and of-
single founder. It is often called fer certain things into a sacred fire.
‘The oldest living religion’, and Rituals and other various ceremo-
the worshipers of Hinduism are nies are performed according to the
found throughout India and its traditions and backgrounds of the
surrounding nations, yet with the involved families.
urbanization of today, Hinduism
is found world-wide.
Mikhila Daya 9E