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Significance of bangles in Indian culture and their regional diversity

In spite of such stylish designs at display, bangles either made of glass or metal are only preferred for auspicious occasions like during marriage or for a festival.

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(Representational Image) Bangles. Image Source: Wikipedia.org
  • Symbolic of married status, bangles signify the well-being of a woman’s husband and her family
  • In spite of many stylish designs at display, bangles either made of glass or metals are only preferred for auspicious occasions like during marriage or for a festival
  • According to a ceremony called mameru in Gujarat, a bride’s maternal uncle gives her the chooda along with a silk sari

Since time immemorial, bangles have been an intrinsic part of Indian culture and continue to be so. It is in fact considered to be one of the most important ornaments for a married woman. Symbolic of married status, bangles signify the well-being of a woman’s husband and her family.

There have been concrete evidences, which testify that bangles have been a part of Indian culture since ancient times. The bronze figure of a dancing girl wearing a collection of bangles that has been unearthed at Mohanjodaro also establishes the inseparable connection these wrist ornaments had with our culture.

The antiques testify that bangles were made from various metals like terracotta, stone, gold, bronze and silver among others and almost every material that the craftsman could mould.

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Presently, of course because the women juggle between home and work this tradition has taken a backseat but the importance of them to a married woman remains the same.

It might seem astonishing to some but even today women in certain communities are very superstitious about bangles. Apparently, even while changing old bangles with a new set, they either tie a string or the end of their sari to ensure that their arm is not bare even for a second.

As per the tradition they are a part of the solah shringar (signs of a married woman) of a woman and are generally made of glass or gold.

Trendy plastic bangles. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Trendy plastic bangles. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, bangles have changed over time and have become much trendier to suit the contemporary fad. Funky looking bangles with geometrical shapes have also been nudged in the market and are worn by both married and un-married women.

In spite of many stylish designs at display, bangles either made of glass or metal are only preferred for auspicious occasions like during marriage or for a festival.

In a culturally rich country as India, the colour and the material from which the bangle is made of vary from regions to regions. Here are some of the regions and the types of bangles worn here as illustrated by TOI:

Rajasthan and Gujarat

The brides in the region wear ivory bangles or chooda. According to a ceremony called mameru in Gujarat, a bride’s maternal uncle gives her the chooda along with a silk sari that specifically has a red border.

Punjabi Chooda. Image Source: ourvivaha.com
Punjabi Chooda. Image Source: ourvivaha.com

Punjab

The Punjabi brides most certainly wear chooda made of ivory and red bangles. Again her maternal uncle gives the bride-to-be a chooda, which she has to wear for a specific period of time. The newly-married has to wear the chooda for a minimum of forty days or longer as per the custom of the family.

Maharashtra

In the state, a bride wears odd number of green bangles on the wedding day. The green bangles are worn with gold ones called patlya and carved kadas known as tode. The green bangles, which symbolize creativity, new phase and fertility are generally presented by the groom’s family.

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Southern India

Gold is considered to be extremely auspicious in the region. The brides here wear green glass bangles with gold plated ones.

Bengal

Locally called shakha and pola, the brides in Bengal wear conch shell bangles and a red coral bangles. Apart from this, a new-bride is also given gold bangles by her mother-in-law upon her entry into the new house.

-prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. Twitter handle: iBulbul_

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Hotel Chains in Rajasthan Contribute in Growing Local Economy

Big hotel chains help boost local economy in Rajasthan

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Hotels Rajasthan
Hotel chains in Rajasthan play a major role in boosting the local economy. Pixabay

BY ARCHANA SHARMA

Big hotel chains in Rajasthan are helping the local economy grow by providing newer employment avenues to the natives.

These hotels are hiring local people to showcase the colourful heritage of Rajasthan to guests coming from different parts of the world.

Ibis, an Accor brand, recently re-launched its property in Civil Lines, Jaipur, in which locals were engaged in the task to design a vibrant and colourful lobby with traditional Pichwai artwork connecting to the ethic charm of the Pink city.

The property also showcases a quirky auto and bike parked outside the lobby which comes in different shades of pink connecting with the theme of the pink City. Again, in this perspective, the local students’ views were taken into account to make the pretty decor of the auto and bike, said Saumitra Chaturvedi, General Manager, Ibis Jaipur Civil Lines.

Further, the hotel had hired a local band, Marudhar, during the relaunch of the property, which has got six local members who shot to fame after displaying their talent in ‘India’s Got Talent’.

Chaturvedi said, “It gives me immense pleasure to showcase the revamped Ibis property in Jaipur which has been designed after seeking services of local artists. We look forward to serving the best blend of local and global in terms of food, delicacies and experiences, he added.

Rajasthan locals
Big hotel chains in Rajasthan hire the local people to showcase the rich culture of that region. Pixabay

The other property pushing local economy to new heights is Alila Fort Bishangarh where locals are engaged in diverse tasks including garden landscaping, housekeeping, driving and even the kitchen for dishes, said Binny Sebastian, General Manager, Alila Fort Bishangarh’s heritage hotel, some 50 km from Jaipur.

As our property is situated on the outskirts, the surrounding villages had people engaged in farming and hence we are training them in diverse tasks to ensure they have a decent source of earning. Now, the villages look changed as there are many shops and businesses coming around, he adds.

These guests are also taken around for a barber shop where they love to get a hair massage done which is called as Champi in local language. Villagers are getting a decent price for it. We have a chai shop where guests are taken and they pay villagers a decent sum for a tea.

Then comes as zero mile cuisine system we have introduced recently where food produced within the vicinity of one mile is being served to guests. This again boosts local economy, Sebastian says.

This Diwali, we gifted paper bag made from newspapers with an earthen pot having tulsi plant grown in our garden. Again local services were taken to make bags and pots, he adds.

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“Our association with locals is quite strong. Our guests also visit the artisans’ houses and sip tea there while watching them make pottery and weave carpet. In this way, we ensure that locals get a decent livelihood,” Sebastian added.

“We have started getting regular income since this property came up a year back. We have been showing our art to the guests here which gives us satisfaction as well as an income,” said Nizamuddin, a bangle maker engaged in Alila Fort, Bishangarh. (IANS)