Raksha Bandhan

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Raksha Bandhan
Rakhi 1.JPG
A rakhi being tied during Raksha Bandhan
Official name Raksha Bandhan.
Also called Rakhi, Saluno, Silono, Rakri
Observed by Hindus
Type Religious, cultural, secular
Date Purnima (full moon) of Shrawan
2017 date Monday, 7 August (Friday, 28 July in Nepal)
2018 date Sunday, 26 August
Related to Bhai Duj, Bhai Tika, Sama Chakeva
A sister facing her brother, and holding a tray with rakhis.

Raksha Bandhan, also Rakshabandhan,[1] or simply Rakhi, is an annual rite performed in South Asia, or by people of South Asian origin, and centred around the tying of a thread, talisman, or amulet on the wrist as a form of ritual protection. The protection is offered principally by sisters to brothers, but also by priests to patrons, and sometimes by individuals to real or potential benefactors. Differing versions of the rite have been traditionally performed by Hindus in northern India,[2][3][4] western India,[5] Nepal,[6] and former colonies of the British Empire to which Hindus had emigrated from India in the 19th-century, and have included, in addition, rites with names rendered as Saluno,[7][8] Silono,[9] and Rakri.[10] The rituals associated with these rites, however, have spread beyond their traditional regions and have been transformed through technology and migration,[11] the movies,[12] social interaction,[13] and promotion by politicized Hinduism,[14][15] as well as by the nation state.[16]

Raksha Bandhan is observed on the last day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Shraavana, which typically falls in August.[17][18] On this day, sisters of all ages tie a talisman, or amulet, called the rakhi, around the wrists of their brothers, ritually protecting their brothers, receiving a gift from them in return, and traditionally investing the brothers with a share of the responsibility of their potential care.[19] The expression "Raksha Bandhan," Sanskrit, literally, "the bond of protection, obligation, or care," is now principally applied to this ritual. It has also applied to a similar ritual in which a domestic priest ties amulets, charms, or threads on the wrists of his patrons and receives gifts of money.[10][20] A ritual associated with Saluno includes the sisters placing shoots of barley behind the ears of their brothers.[7]

Of special significance to married women, Raksha Bandhan is rooted in the practice of territorial exogamy, in which a bride marries out of her natal village or town, and her parents, by custom, do not visit her in her married home.[21] In rural north India, where territorial exogamy is strongly prevalent, large numbers of married Hindu women travel back to their parents' homes every year for the ceremony.[22][23] Their brothers, who typically live with the parents or nearby, sometimes travel to their sisters' married home to escort them back. Many younger married women arrive a few weeks earlier at their natal homes and stay until the ceremony.[24] The brothers serve as life-long intermediaries between their sisters' married- and parental homes,[25] as well as potential stewards of their security. In urban India, where families are increasingly nuclear, and marriages not always traditional, the festival has become more symbolic, but continues to be highly popular.

Among women and men who are not blood relatives, there is also a transformed tradition of voluntary kin relations, achieved through the tying of rakhi amulets, which have cut across caste and class lines,[26] and Hindu and Muslim divisions.[27] In some communities or contexts, other figures, such as a matriarch, or a person in authority, can be included in the ceremony in ritual acknowledgement of their benefaction.[28] Raksha Bandhan is also celebrated by Hindu communities in other parts of the world.[29][30] Although rooted in Hindu culture, the festival has no traditional prayers unambiguously associated with it. The religious myths claimed for it are disputed, and the historical stories associated with it considered apocryphal by some historians.[31][32] More recently, after enactment of more gender-neutral inheritance laws in India, it has been suggested that in some communities the festival has seen a resurgence of celebration, which is serving to indirectly pressure women to abstain from fully claiming their inheritance.[33]

Etymology[edit]

Rajendra Prasad, the first president of the Republic of India celebrating Raksha Bandhan at the presidential palace, Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, 24 August 1953

According to R. S. McGregor's Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, 1993, the name of the festival, the masculine Hindi noun rakśābandhan is composed of the Sanskrit loanword rakśā, a feminine noun, which means, "protection," "preservation," or "care." and a second Sanskrit loanword bandhan, a masculine noun, which means "fastening," or "tying together."[34] According to V. S. Apte's Revised Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1957–1959, रक्षा pronounced rakṣā means, "protection," "preservation," or "guarding;"[35] बन्धन pronounced, "bandhana," means "The act of binding, fastening, tying."[36]

According to McGregor, the Hindi feminine noun, rākhī, (which is compared etymologically to rakśā described above) is a "protective talisman: a piece of thread etc., with a rosette, tied ceremoniously round a protector or patron's wrist on the full moon of the month Srāvan: especially by a sister round a brother's wrist, when the brother gives a small gift of money."[37] In contrast, Apte defines one of the secondary meaning of रक्षा (rakṣā) to be: "A piece of silk or thread fastened round the wrist on particular occasions, especially on the full-moon day of Śrāvaṇa, as an amulet or preservative; (रक्षी (rakṣī) also in this sense).[35]

According to Jack Goody, rakśābandhan is "cognate with the Sanskrit name for marriage, saṃbandhan, where the common element bandhan (Sanskrit: bandhá) refers to the act of tying. The ceremonies are complementary. Marriage (sam, reciprocally) ties spouses; rakśābandhan ties brother and sister."[38]

Regions[edit]

A girl is tying a rakhi (a Rakshasutra) around her mother's wrist as part of the celebration Rakshbandhan in a village Lahree, Jabalpur district, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Scholars who have written about the ritual, have usually described the traditional region of its observance as north India; however, also included are: central India, western India and Nepal, as well other regions of India, and overseas Hindu communities such as in Fiji. Anthropologist Jack Goody, whose field study was conducted in Nandol, in Gujarat, describes Rakshabandhan as an "annual ceremony ... of northern and western India."[39] Anthropologist Michael Jackson, writes, "While traditional North Indian families do not have a Father's or Mother's Day, or even the equivalent of Valentine's Day, there is a Sister's Day, called Raksha Bandhan, ..."[40] Religious scholar J. Gordon Melton describes it as "primarily a North Indian festival."[41] Leona M. Anderson and Pamela D. Young describe it as "one of the most popular festivals of North India."[42] Anthropologist David G. Mandelbaum has described it as "an annual rite observed in northern and western India."[43] Other descriptions of primary regions are of development economist Bina Agarwal ("In Northern India and Nepal this is ritualized in festivals such as raksha-bandhan."[44]), scholar and activist Ruth Vanita ("a festival widely celebrated in north India."[27]), anthropologist James D. Faubion ("In north India this brother-sister relationship is formalized in the ceremony of 'Rakshabandhan.'"[45]), and social scientist Prem Chowdhry ("... in the noticeable revival of the Raksha Bandhan festival and the renewed sanctity is has claimed in North India."[46]).

Traditions[edit]

Women shopping for rakhi
Tying the rakhi on the wrist

Anthropologist McKim Marriott in his "Little Communities in an Indigenous Civilization," (1955) describes an "Indian-wide" tradition of Rakhi-bandhan, or Raksha-bandhan, in which a priest ties charms around their patrons' wrists and receives gifts of money, and a local tradition of Saluno in Aligarh district of North India in which sisters place ears of sacred grains on the heads and behind the ears of their brother in affirmation of the brother's role as their real or potential protector.[7][47] Marriott's work also describes the field study of anthropologist Alan R. Beals in Namhalli, a village near Bangalore, who notes changes in the rakhi tradition brought on by modern technology.[47]

While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in various parts of South Asia, different regions mark the day in different ways.

In the state of West Bengal and Odisha, this day is also called Jhulan Purnima. Prayers and puja of Lord Krishna and Radha are performed there. Sisters tie rakhi to brothers and wish immortality. Political parties, offices, friends, schools to colleges, street to palace celebrate this day with a new hope for a good relationship.[citation needed]

In Maharashtra, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated along with Narali Poornima (coconut day festival). Kolis are the fishermen community of the coastal state. The fishermen offer prayers to Lord Varuna, the Hindu god of Sea, to invoke his blessings. As part of the rituals, coconuts were thrown into the sea as offerings to Lord Varuna. The girls and women tie rakhi on their brother's wrist, as elsewhere.[48][49]

In the regions of North India, mostly Jammu, it is a common practice to fly kites on the nearby occasions of Janamashtami and Raksha Bandhan. It's not unusual to see the sky filled with kites of all shapes and sizes, on and around these two dates. The locals buy kilometres of strong kite string, commonly called as "gattu door" in the local language, along with a multitude of kites.[citation needed]

In Haryana, in addition to celebrating Raksha Bandhan, people observe the festival of Salono.[50] Salono is celebrated by priests solemnly tying amulets against evil on people's wrists.[51] As elsewhere, sisters tie threads on brothers with prayers for their well being, and the brothers give her gifts promising to safeguard her.[52]

In Nepal, Raksha Bandhan is referred to as Janai Purnima or Rishitarpani, and involves a sacred thread ceremony. It is observed by both Hindus and Buddhists of Nepal.[53] The Hindu men change the thread they wear around their chests (janai), while in some parts of Nepal girls and women tie rakhi on their brother's wrists. The Raksha Bandhan-like brother sister festival is observed by other Hindus of Nepal during one of the days of the Tihar (or Diwali) festival.[54]

The festival is observed by the Shaiva Hindus, and is popularly known in Newar community as Gunhu Punhi.[55]

Myths and legends[edit]

The scriptures, epics of Hinduism is peppered with stories of rakhi and Raksha Bandhan. Some of these include:

Indra Dev[edit]

According to Bhavishya Purana, in the war between Gods and demons, Indra – the deity of sky, rains and thunderbolts – was disgraced by the powerful demon King Bali. Indra’s wife Sachi consulted Vishnu, who gave her a bracelet made of cotton thread, calling it holy.[17] Sachi tied the holy thread around Indra wrist, blessed with her prayers for his well being and success. Indra successfully defeated the Bali and recovered Amaravati. This story inspired the protective power of holy thread.[56][57][58] The story also suggests that the Raksha Bandhan thread in ancient India were amulets, used by women as prayers and to guard men going to war, and that these threads were not limited to sister-brother like relationships.[17]

King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi[edit]

According to Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana, after Vishnu won the three worlds from the demon King Bali, Bali asked Vishnu to stay with him in his palace, a request Vishnu granted. Vishnu's wife, Goddess Lakshmi did not like the palace or his new found friendship with Bali, and preferred that her husband and she return to Vaikuntha. So she went to Bali, tied a rakhi and made him a brother to her. Bali asked her what gift she desired. Lakshmi asked that Vishnu be freed from the request that he live in Bali's palace. Bali consented, as well accepted her as his sister.[59]

Santoshi Maa[edit]

Ganesha had two sons, Shubha and Labha. The two boys become frustrated that they have no sister to celebrate Raksha Bandhan with. They ask their father Ganesha for a sister, but to no avail. Finally, saint Narada appears who persuades Ganesha that a daughter will enrich him as well as his sons. Ganesha agreed, and created a daughter named Santoshi Maa by divine flames that emerged from Ganesh's wives, Riddhi (Amazing) and Siddhi (Perfection). Thereafter, Shubha Labha (literally "Holy Profit") had a sister named Santoshi Maa (literally "Goddess of Satisfaction"), to tie Rakhi over Raksha Bandhan.[60]

Krishna and Draupadi[edit]

In the epic Mahabharat, Draupadi tied a rakhi on Krishna, while Kunti tied her rakhi on her grandson Abhimanyu, before the great war.[58]

Yama and the Yamuna[edit]

According to another legend, Yama, the god of Death, had not visited his sister Yamuna for 12 years. Yamuna was sad and consulted Ganga. Ganga reminded Yama of his sister, upon which Yama visits her. Yamuna was overjoyed to see her brother, and prepared a bounty of food for Yama. The god Yama was delighted, and asked Yamuna what she wanted for a gift. She wished that he, her brother should return and see her again soon. Yama was moved by his sister's love, agreed and to be able to see her again, and made river Yamuna immortal. This legend is the basis for a Raksha Bandhan-like festival called Bhai Duj in some parts of India, which also celebrates brother-sister love, but near Diwali.[61][62]

History[edit]

Rakhi threads for sale in India

Raksha Bandhan is an ancient festival of the Indian subcontinent, and its history dates back thousands of years.

Alexander the Great and King Puru[edit]

According to one legendary narrative, when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BCE, Roxana (or Roshanak, his wife) sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with tradition, Porus, the king of Kaikeya kingdom, gave full respect to the rakhi. In the Battle of the Hydaspes, when Porus saw the rakhi on his own wrist and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.[63]

Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun[edit]

Another controversial historical account is that of Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun, which dates to 1535 CE. When Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, realised that she could not defend against the invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor, according to one version of the story, set off with his troops to defend Chittor. He arrived too late, and Bahadur Shah had already captured the Rani's fortress. Alternative accounts from the period, including those by historians in Humayun's Mughal court, do not mention the rakhi episode and some historians have expressed skepticism whether it ever happened.[64] Humayun's own memoirs never mention this, and give different reasons for his war with Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in 1535.[65]

Muslim commentators in modern era publications mention this story as evidence of Muslim-Hindu communal ties in the past.[66][67]

Rabindranath Tagore and the Bengal partition of 1905[edit]

Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel Laureate for literature, invoked Raksha Bandhan and rakhi as concepts to inspire love, respect and a vow of mutual protection between Hindus and Muslims during India's colonial era.[68] In 1905, the British empire divided Bengal, a province of British India on the basis of religion. Rabindra Nath Tagore arranged a ceremony to celebrate Raksha Bandhan to strengthen the bond of love and togetherness between Hindus and Muslims of Bengal, and urge them to together protest the British empire. He used the idea of Raksha Bandhan to spread the feeling of brotherhood. In 1911, British colonial empire reversed the partition and unified Bengal, a unification that was opposed by Muslims of Bengal. Ultimately, Tagore's Raksha Bandhan-based appeals were unsuccessful. Bengal not only was split during the colonial era, one part became modern Bangladesh and predominantly Muslim country, the other a largely Hindu Indian state of West Bengal. Rabindranath Tagore started Rakhi Mahotsavas as a symbol of Bengal unity, and as a larger community festival of harmony.[69] In parts of West Bengal, his tradition continues as people tie rakhis to their neighbors and close friends.[70]

One of Tagore's poem invoking rakhi is:[71]

The love in my body and heart
For the earth's shadow and light
Has stayed over years.

With its cares and its hope it has thrown
A language of its own
Into blue skies.

It lives in my joys and glooms
In the spring night's buds and blooms
Like a Rakhi-band
On the Future's hand.

Sikh history[edit]

In the 18th century, states Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair, Sikh Khalsa armies introduced the term Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan) as a promise of protection to farmers from Muslim armies such as those of the Mughals and Afghans, in exchange for sharing a small cut of their produce.[72][73]

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder and ruler of the Sikh Empire, and he observed Raksha Bandhan festival.[74] His wife Maharani Jindan sent a Rakhi to the ruler of Nepal, who accepted her as sister and gave her refuge in the Hindu kingdom of Nepal in 1849 after the collapse of the Sikh Empire and annexation of its territories by the British.[75][76]

Sikhs have observed Raksha Bandhan festival, and has sometimes been referred to as Rakhardi (literally, wristband)[77] or Rakhari in historic Sikh texts.[78][79][80] Like the Hindu tradition, the festival has involved the tying of the rakhi and giving of gifts.[81][82]

Multi-culturalism and activism[edit]

Some Muslims in India view it a secular, multicultural festival.[66] Raksha bandhan has also been adopted by the Christian community in India who view it as a festival of historical and social importance.[83]

In 2015, men tied rakhis on women seeking protection from the ‘misuse’ of section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. "Society has gone through massive changes in the last few decades and men are now considered on the same platform with women. Why should laws show a discrimination against them?" asked Amartya Talukdar, founder member of Hridaya, an NGO working for gender neutrality.[84]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McGregor, Ronald Stuart (1993), The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-563846-2  Quote: m Hindi rakśābandhan held on the full moon of the month of Savan, when sisters tie a talisman (rakhi q.v.) on the arm of their brothers and receive small gifts of money from them.
  2. ^ Prasad, Leela (2012), "Anklets on the pyal", in Leela Prasad, Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Lalita Handoo (editors), Gender and Story in South India, SUNY Press, p. 9, ISBN 978-0-7914-8125-7  Quote: While women-centered narratives cherish brotherly love, heroism, and chivalry (celebrated in festivals like nagapanchami in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and rakshabandhan in north India), they are all too aware of the fragility of sibling ties.
  3. ^ Anderson, Leona May; Young, Pamela Dickey (2004), Women and Religious Traditions, Oxford University Press, pp. 30–31, ISBN 978-0-19-541754-8  Quote: "One of the most popular festivals in North India is the festival of Raksabandhana, observed in July or August.
  4. ^ Gokulsing, K. Moti (editor); Dissanayake, Wimal (editor) (2009), Popular Culture in a Globalised India, Routledge, p. xix, ISBN 978-1-134-02307-3  Quote: Glossary and acronyms: Raksha Bandhan: A popular Hindu festival of north India where sister ties a thread on brother's wrist, seeking protection. (page xix)"
  5. ^ Goody, Jack (1990), The Oriental, the Ancient and the Primitive: Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia, Cambridge University Press, p. 222, ISBN 978-0-521-36761-5  Quote: "That relation is celebrated and epitomised in the annual ceremony of Rakshābandhan in northern and western India,"
  6. ^ Agarwal, Bina (1994), A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia, Cambridge University Press, p. 264, ISBN 978-0-521-42926-9  Quote: "Brothers (even younger ones), and natal kin in general, are seen as women's potential protectors. In northern India and Nepal, this is ritualized in festivals such as raksha-bandhan (literally the tie of protection) and symbolized by sisters tying a thread (rakhi) on the brother's wrist.
  7. ^ a b c Marriott, McKim (1955), "Little Communities in an Indigenous Civilization", in McKim Marriott (editor), Village India: Studies in the Little Community, University of Chicago Press, pp. 198–202 
  8. ^ Wadley, Susan S. (27 July 1994), Struggling with Destiny in Karimpur, 1925-1984, University of California Press, pp. 84, 202, ISBN 978-0-520-91433-9  Quote: (p 84) Potters: ... But because the festival of Saluno takes place during the monsoon when they can't make pots, they make pots in three batches ...
  9. ^ Lewis, Oscar (1965), Village Life in Northern India: Studies in a Delhi Village, University of Illinois Press, p. 208 
  10. ^ a b Berreman, Gerald Duane (1963), Hindus of the Himalayas, University of California Press, pp. 390–, GGKEY:S0ZWW3DRS4S  Quote: Rakri: On this date Brahmins go from house to house tying string bracelets (rakrī) on the wrists of household members. In return the Brahmins receive from an anna to a rupee from each household. ... This is supposed to be auspicious for the recipient. ... It has no connotation of brother-sister devotion as it does in some plains areas. It is readily identified with Raksha Bandhan.
  11. ^ Coleman, Leo (2017), A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi, Cornell University Press, p. 148, ISBN 978-1-5017-0791-9  Quote: In modern rakhi, technologically mediated and performed with manufactured charms, migrating men are the medium by which the village women interact, vertically, with the cosmopolitan center—the site of radio broadcasts, and the source of technological goods and national solidarity
  12. ^ Pandit, Vaijayanti (2003), BUSINESS @ HOME, Vikas Publishing House, p. 234, ISBN 978-81-259-1218-7  Quote: "Quote: Raksha Bandhan traditionally celebrated in North India has acquired greater importance due to Hindi films. Lightweight and decorative rakhis, which are easy to post, are needed in large quantities by the market to cater to brothers and sisters living in different parts of the country or abroad."
  13. ^ Khandekar, Renuka N. (2003), Faith: filling the God-sized hole, Penguin Books, p. 180  Quote: "But since independence and the gradual opening up of Indian society, Raksha Bandhan as celebrated in North India has won the affection of many South Indian families. For this festival has the peculiar charm of renewing sibling bonds."
  14. ^ Joshy, P. M.; Seethi, K. M. (2015), State and Civil Society under Siege: Hindutva, Security and Militarism in India, SAGE Publications, p. 112, ISBN 978-93-5150-383-5  Quote:(p 111) The RSS employs a cultural strategy to mobilise people through festivals. It observes six major festivals in a year. ... Till 20 years back, festivals like Raksha Bandhan' were unknown to South Indians. Through shaka|shakha's intense campaign, now they have become popular in the southern India. In colleges and schools tying `Rakhi'—the thread that is used in the 'Raksha Bandhan'—has become a fashion and this has been popularised by the RSS and ABVP cadres.
  15. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (1999), The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s : Strategies of Identity-building, Implantation and Mobilisation (with Special Reference to Central India), Penguin Books, p. 39, ISBN 978-0-14-024602-5  Quote: This ceremony occurs in a cycle of six annual festivals which often coincides with those observed in Hindu society, and which Hedgewar inscribed in the ritual calendar of his movement: Varsha Pratipada (the Hindu new year), Shivajirajyarohonastava (the coronation of Shivaji), guru dakshina, Raksha Bandhan (a North Indian festival in which sisters tie ribbons round the wrists of their brothers to remind them of their duty as protectors, a ritual which the RSS has re-interpreted in such a way that the leader of the shakha ties a ribbon around the pole of the saffron flag, after which swayamsevaks carry out this ritual for one another as a mark of brotherhood), ....
  16. ^ Coleman, Leo (2017), A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi, Cornell University Press, p. 148, ISBN 978-1-5017-0791-9  Quote: ... as citizens become participants in the wider "new traditions" of the national state. Broadcast mantras become the emblems of a new level of state power and the means of the integration of villagers and city dwellers alike into a new community of citizens
  17. ^ a b c S. Sehgal (1999), Encyclopaedia of Hinduism, Vol 3, ISBN 978-8176250641, pp. 536–537
  18. ^ "Raksha Bandhan Being Celebrated Across India". HINDUISM TODAY. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  19. ^ Agarwal, Bina (1994), A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia, Cambridge University Press, p. 264, ISBN 978-0-521-42926-9  Quote: "A man's tie with his sister is accounted very close. The two have grown up together, at an age when there is no distinction made between the sexes. And later, when the sister marries, the brother is seen as her main protector, for when her father has died to whom else can she turn if there is trouble in her conjugal household. The parental home, and after the parents' death the brother's home, often offers the only possibility of temporary or longer-term support in case of divorce, desertion, and even widowhood, especially but not only for a woman without adult sons."
  20. ^ Gnanambal, K. (1969), Festivals of India, Anthropological Survey of India, Government of India, p. 10  Quote: In North India, the festival is popularly called Raksha Bandhan ... On this day, sisters tie an amulet round the right wrists of brothers wishing them long life and prosperity. Family priests (Brahmans) make it an occasion to visit their clientiele to get presents.
  21. ^ Coleman, Leo (2017), A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi, Cornell University Press, p. 127, ISBN 978-1-5017-0791-9  Quote: Rakhi and its local performances in Kishan Garhi were part of a festival in which connections between out-marrying sisters and village-resident brothers were affirmed. In the "traditional" form of this rite, according to Marriott, sisters exchanged with their brothers to ensure their ability to have recourse—at a crisis, or during childbearing—to their natal village and their relatives there even after leaving for their husband's home. For their part, brothers engaging in these exchanges affirmed the otherwise hard-to-discern moral solidarity of the natal family, even after their sister's marriage.
  22. ^ Goody, Jack (1990), The Oriental, the Ancient and the Primitive: Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia, Cambridge University Press, p. 222, ISBN 978-0-521-36761-5  Quote: "... the heavy emphasis placed on the continuing nature of brother-sister relations despite the fact that in the North marriage requires them to live in different villages. That relation is celebrated and epitomised in the annual ceremony of Rakśābandhan in northern and western India. ... The ceremony itself involves the visit of women to their brothers (that is, to the homes of their own fathers, their natal homes)
  23. ^ Hess, Linda (2015), Bodies of Song: Kabir Oral Traditions and Performative Worlds in North India, Oxford University Press, p. 61, ISBN 978-0-19-937416-8  Quote: "In August comes Raksha Bandhan, the festival celebrating the bonds between brothers and sisters. Married sisters return, if they can, to their natal villages to be with their brothers.
  24. ^ Wadley, Susan Snow (2005), Essays on North Indian Folk Traditions, Orient Blackswan, p. 66, ISBN 978-81-8028-016-0  Quote: In Savan, greenness abounds as the newly planted crops take root in the wet soil. It is a month of joy and gaiety, with swings hanging from tall trees. Girls and women swing high into the sky, singing their joy. The gaiety is all the more marked because women, especially the young ones, are expected to return to their natal homes for an annual visit during Savan.
  25. ^ Gnanambal, K. (1969), Festivals of India, Anthropological Survey of India, Government of India, p. 10 
  26. ^ Heitzman, James; Worden, Robert L. (1996), India: A Country Study, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, p. 246, ISBN 978-0-8444-0833-0 
  27. ^ a b Vanita, Ruth (2002), "Dosti and Tamanna: Male-Male Love, Difference, and Normativity in Hindi Cinema", in Diane P. Mines (ed); Sarah Lamb (ed), Everyday Life in South Asia, Indiana University Press, pp. 146–158, 157, ISBN 0-253-34080-2 
  28. ^ Chowdhry, Prem (1994), The Veiled Women: Shifting Gender Equations in Rural Haryana, Oxford University Press, pp. 312–313, ISBN 978-0-19-567038-7  Quote: The same symbolic protection is also requested from the high caste men by the low caste women in a work relationship situation. The ritual thread is offered, though not tied and higher caste men customarily give some money in return.
  29. ^ Guyanese in London, NY observed Raksha Bandhan Guyana Chronicle (August 2013)
  30. ^ "Rakhi festival celebrated in Taxila". Dawn. Com. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  31. ^ Pomeroy, Arthur J. (2017), A Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome on Screen, Wiley, p. 428, ISBN 978-1-118-74144-3  Quote: "In Sikandar a very daring Roxane follows Alexander incognito to India and manages to gain admission to King Porus (in the Indian version: Puru). From a conversation with a young, friendly Indian village woman named Surmaniya, Roxane learns about the Indian feast of Rakhi which is being celebrated at that very moment with the purpose of strengthening the bond between sister and brother (0:25-0:30). On this occasion, sisters tie a ribbon (i.e. rakhi) to their brothers' arms to symbolize their close relationships, and brothers offer presents and assistance in return. Besides, Roxane is also told that the relationship need not be one of consanguinity; every girl can choose a brother. Therefore, she decides to offer the rakhi to King Porus, who accepts the relationship after some hesitation, because he feels the need to apologize to Roxane, Darius's (a.k.a. Dara's) daughter, for not having helped her father when he asked for assistance against Alexander. As a result of their bond, he offers her gifts befitting her rank and promises not to harm Alexander (0:32-35). Later, when Porus comes into hand-to-hand combat with the Greek king, he stands by his promise and spares him (1:31). Interestingly, the rakhi episode with Porus is still to this day very popular in India and is cited as very early historical evidence for the origin of the authentic Hindu festival called Raksha Bandhan. Although examples of that legend can be traced in internet forums, Indian newspapers, a children's book and an educational video, I was not able to find its ancient origin.
  32. ^ Chandra, Satish (2003), Essays on Medieval Indian History, Oxford University Press, p. 369, ISBN 978-0-19-566336-5  Quote: "The tradition that the Rana's mother, Rani Karmavati, sent a bracelet to Humayun on the occasion, and that Humayun responded by marching to Gwaliyar cannot be relied upon as it is first referred to in a late 17th century gossipy account. However, if the story of the rakhi is accepted as genuine, it has to be accepted in full. Some modern writers have accepted the legend about the Rani sending a rakhi, but have rejected the latter part of the story which states that Humayun had responded gallantly. They argue that Humayun betrayed her trust by doing nothing to help her. None of the Persian histories of the period refer to any such appeal. Although Humayun moved to Gwaliyar in order to warn Bahadur Shah that the Mughal emperor would not watch with complacency the growth of Gujarati power in eastern Rajputana, the move itself cannot be considered a proof that the Rani had appealed to Humayun personally.
  33. ^ Chowdhry, Prem (2000), "Enforcing cultural codes: Gender and violence in northern India", in Nair, Janaki (editor); John, Mary E. (editor), A Question of Silence: The Sexual Economies of Modern India, Zed Books, p. 356, ISBN 978-1-85649-892-0  Quote: Rural patriarchal forces have been anxiously devising means to stem the progressive fallout of this Act through a variety of means. One way has been to oppose the inheritance rights of a daughter or a sister to those of the brother. Except in cases where there are no brothers, the sisters either sign away their in favour of their brother or sell it to him at a nominal price. This code of conduct is observed knowingly by both the natal and conjugal families. Brother-sister bonds of love have also been greatly encouraged, visible in the noticeable revival of the Raksha Bandhan festival and the renewed sanctity it has claimed in north India.
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