Ray, an American by nationality, has just had the best holiday ever. It was his trip to India where he attended a colleague’s wedding which was a seven day affair. But he was surprised by the quirky rituals that were involved in the wedding. The cultural gap was more of a shock to him. But Ray isn’t the only one who has found the Indian rituals weird. Every culture and country has some strange traditions that they follow; but India absolutely takes the cake when it comes to unique ways and techniques to please god or save themselves from ill omens.
India is a huge landmass with variety of cultures religions and people who firmly believe in their ancestral traditions. We Indians have traditions for each and every occasion – wedding, funeral, birthday etc. This practice of Indian rituals has been going on for centuries. Earlier it was sati, a practice where the wife would die with the burning pyre of the husband.
But even though now that horrendous ritual has been banned from India, still we have many others in different parts of our country. A tradition in Maharashtra and Karnataka believes in tossing a new born from their house roof to the bed kept below. It signifies that the kid will be able to face all the problems of life. Another ritual that is highly common in Himachal Pradesh, the land of Temples that the devotees reach the temples by rolling down the whole road, showing their penance and hoping god would grant their wish. People actually get married to animals – a black dog, frog or even also ant etc, to lift of the curse of manglik. Manglik is a person who’s Saturn and Mars collide in kundali, making it hard to find perfect match.
Other rituals that include animals are more health hazardous. For instance, in Madhya Pradesh people dress up cows who are considered goddess in Hindu mythology and free them while lying on their way so that they can trample on humans. This ritual symbolizes that the devotees are always in the feet of their lord. In Tamil Nadu, a day after Pongal, a Bull Fighting contest is held between a bull and a man. It goes on till either one of the contestants die. It signifies the male power and strength if the man is victorious.
Even our wedding rituals are quirky – be it the tradition of the mother-in-law pulling the nose of her future son-in-law or the ever popular stealing the shoes of the groom, only to give it back in return of money, or the ceremony of finding the ring in water.
India is in every sense the land of brave and the strange. The faith Indians hold for their culture and religion is salute worthy. Maybe that is one of the reasons why it truly is Incredible India!