Saturday, June 12, 2010

Portrait # 5

The mangalsutra (literally sacred thread) is the mos
t commonly recognized symbol of marriage worn by Indian women. Though there are regional differences in the form the necklace takes, it is typically made of gold and is offered to the bride by the groom's family at the time of her marriage.

Few women in the city, however, wear mangalsutras made of gold- most prefer either gold plated ornaments, or ones dipped in gold paint. Since they are much cheaper than gold, you can have many different necklaces to choose from, and you don't have to worry about being mugged for your jewellery.

Which is where, vendors like this one come in.
A token of marriage for one dollar, anyone?


slommler said...

Wow! Beautiful!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Really beautiful.


Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - Those are really lovely. And I never knew that about the necklances - thanks.

Mason Canyon said...

Beautiful necklaces. It's always fun to learn new things about different places and customs. Thanks.

Thoughts in Progress

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If it looks good and it's cheap, I'm all for it.

Clarissa Draper said...

I think that it's beautiful and am I right in assuming that couples in India take marriage more seriously than us Americans?

Divorce is not as wide-spread.


Jaycee said...

Marriage is so much more than the elements that represent it :)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ SueAnn/ Yvonne/ Margot - they are beautiful, aren't they? The part of the country where I come from, we have them only in one particular design, but where I live, the prettier the better.

@ Mason - I learn so much from all of you, time for payback!

@ Alex - quite.

@ Clarissa - I think the difference between India and others is that in India, marriage is still between two families as much as it is between two people. So, even if there are troubles, the families normally smoothen it over. Which perhaps is why divorce rates are lower here.

@ Jaycee - that it is. Which is why I choose not to wear any of the symbols of marriage. They don't define me, my relationship does.

dipali said...

With you on this- I took a considered decision not to wear a bindi a couple of years ago. I refuse to identify either my religious group/marital status to the public at large.
That said, mangalsutras and mehndi and bindis and bangles are all so pretty, but it is cruel when a widow is supposed to give them up.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Dipali - for awhile (when the MNS nonsense was in full swing) I even wore a Marathi mangalsutra, just to be safe, then decided I would rather be me.
Not that I have any issues with wearing anything- what I dislike is the labelling that gets done.


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