On the occasion of the recent Raksha-bandan celebration in India I want to repost here my earlier post from another blog telling about an amazing tradition of brother-sister relationship which seem to be missing a lot in the West. I wonder what my beloved readership will tell about this highly interesting topic?
Does male-female friendship exist?
That is one of the questions that preoccupied the pretty heads of the western society in the last centuries: can men and women be simply good friends, or is there always some potential “love story”, or trivial sexual interest behind? The opinion seems to be rather clear: such friendship does not exist! – desperate women moan , magazines cry and hypnotizing TV whispers to us . It seems they have no idea that the majority of the world population, i.e. the entire Asia and Arab countries know and respect this phenomenon as „brother-sister relationship”.
In the eastern part of the world the role of the woman has always been somewhat larger and more meaningful than in the West: the beauty and the importance of a “sister” is one of the society’s building elements. From times immemorial there is a special tradition of the Raksha-Bandan ceremony in India: the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her in this life.
It is not necessary that the rakhi can be given only to a brother by birth; any male can be “adopted” as a brother by tying a rakhi on the person, whether they are cousins or good friends. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves. Since the rakhi-realtionship symbolizes purity, it excludes a love-affair or romantic feelings of erotic kind. Modern women in India often use it as indications, if they want to keep up a friendship, but want to avoid any romance. But what do the men gain out of it? Why should they want to exclude such a chance for a love-affair or flirting? The more Rakhi sisters a man has, the stronger he is, because the sisters support him thereby with their Shakti powers.
It is not about getting as many as possible girls for the “bed collection”, but about getting the nourishing love from sisters/Shaktis.
In India men are very proud of having Rakhi-sisters, and love to mention them now and then. If you are giving a rakhi to somebody in India, immediately dozens of strangers fall over you asking for one as well! They know for sure what it power it has… (more…)