I was back in office the next day after Raksha Bandhan. I noticed one of my female co-workers came in with multiple rakhis tied on her hand. Intrigued, I asked her why she had them on. The revealings were so interesting that I decided to write a post to let others unaware know of these unique festive traditions.
Lumba Rakhi Tradition
Lumba Rakhi is a traditional custom in the Marwari community, originally from Rajasthan. On the day of Raksha Bandhan, the sister will tie a rakhi not only to her brother but also her sister-in-law (bhabhi). They believe that once the brother is married, the wife completes him. They are meant to be one, and so the sister will tie a traditional rakhi to her brother and a lumba rakhi to her sister-in-law to take well-wishes and blessings from both.
Quite feminine a thread, Lumba Rakhi is tied to a bangle and hangs like a pendant from the wrist. The tradition is devoutly followed among the Marwari community.
But that’s not all. As our conversation proceeded, I learnt of another interesting and lovely tradition among the Marwaris. The older women such as bua (aunt) will tie a rakhi to a younger girl family member(s). She ties it as a vow of care and protection towards the younger girl, much like a brother’s vow. This explained why my colleague (among the younger members in her family) had rakhis on her hand.
I felt a strange sense of empowerment on getting to know of these wonderful traditions where women tied rakhis to other women and took vows to protect, much like the brothers do. It also spoke of unconventionality. Notably, this isn’t a recent phenomenon but an age-old tradition among the Marwari community, followed till date.
requested begged my colleague to allow me to share a picture of her and her family with my readers. A picture that may have been clicked during/post the Raksha Bandhan ceremony. I managed to convince her. 🙂
The family that was the inspiration and source of information for this post. My thank-you’s!