Crafty baby, DIY, Festivals

Make Your Own Rakhi – 2017

If you have been following the blog for some time you would probably know that every year darling daughter and I make hand made Rakhis. The festival of Raksha bandhan holds a special significance in our close knit family and making our own Rakhis makes it sweeter for us. Staying outside India this is one more way of keeping my kids closer to our culture and traditions. 

When VMJ was younger I would choose the kind of Rakhis we made and did majority of the work. Now that she’s a big girl of 5 she insists on choosing the design and shopping for supplies on her own. These days she is into reading and writing so alphabets were heavily on her mind while picking a rakhi pattern. She decided to make name bracelets for her brothers and picked up colorful letter beads from the craft store. Since heart is her favorite shape and she loves colors, she also picked up a box of colorful heart beads and string in bright colors. I would have preferred regular cord over the elastic one but the elastic one had more colors and glitter so was darling daughter’s obvious choice.

The rest was easy. We threaded beads in the string – full names for the younger brothers and only initials for grown up brothers, added heart beads on both ends.

VMJ’S eldest brother got married last winter so this year we were excited to make our first lumba rakhi for her new Bhabhi. In case you are not familiar – lumba is a special, more decorative rakhi for brother’s wife. Instead of the typical rakhi thread a lumba had a loop of string that is knotted around the bangle. For lumba we had bought special charms that dangle from the main loop. A smaller charm from the set was added to our rakhi to make it into a set for VMJ’s Bhaiya Bhabhi. This is how our rakhi and lumba set looks.

The best part about these rakhis was that darling daughter was able to make them on her own, I did help with tying the knots and making the lumba but that was it. 

I love how they have turned out, hope you like them as much as we do. 

Hurry now! Get your supplies and make some pretty ones for your Bhaiyas and Bhabhis.

Happy crafting!

– A

    Festivals, Mundane musings

    Rakhi & The Changing Paradigms

    Rakhi just went by and most of us celebrated the festival with their families. Social media was abuzz with the whole jingbang – mushy messages, personalized gifts and rakhis, pictures of the celebration…

    As I scrolled past pictures after pictures on Facebook I realized girls who don’t have brothers and boys who don’t have sisters were awfully quiet about the festival and understandably so. Rakhi is traditionally celebrated between a brother and sister only. Then like a whiff of fresh air I saw a post from a friend who doesn’t have a brother and her note about how to her Rakhi has always been a festival celebrating her 2 sisters. And it made so much sense! 

    Post Rakhi I was talking to my husband’s cousin and she said how her daughter feels it is a very sexist festival. The younger generation women don’t need a man to protect them and they are right. I am not a feminist but let’s be honest, for generations now we have seen sisters protecting sisters, sisters nurturing brothers, sisters raising younger siblings and sisters being the lifetime pillar of strength. It’s high time we acknowledge this and improvise our customs and traditions to suit the changing dynamics.

    Won’t 2 brothers or 2 sisters have each other’s back in times of need? Won’t they be there to care and support each other through life’s ups and downs? Do they love each other less than a brother and sister duo? Moreover, it just doesn’t seem right to celebrate a festival with our cousins but not with our own sibling just because they are not the right gender!

    In fact, with the decreasing family sizes it’s more important to cultivate the love between siblings than ever before, irrespective of whether they are only girls, only boys or both. It is a festival that celebrates sibling love… lets extend it to all siblings and spread the joy.