This week, I’m swapping one symbol of marriage for another as I head on a whirlwind trip to show my family the sights of Northern India and meet family in South India. Worried about losing my ring while traveling, my thaali (தாலி) and a bindi will be the only indicators that I’m a married woman. On the thaali, a gold necklace, one pendant represents my family, and one represents his. The bindi, the small dot in between the eyes, has become a fun fashion statement, but was originally a sign that you were married.
To be completely honest, it’s not that I need it to be known that I’m “taken.” I’ve traveled to India twice by myself as a single woman in her early twenties without any issues. My Husband doesn’t mind either. He doesn’t have his wedding band yet. I jokingly remind him to keep the hordes single ladies at bay as best he can when he leaves the house.
Instead of wearing them for me or him, I’ll be wearing them to show respect to my new family. It’s an important sign of compromise and openness to their culture. Plus, I think it will make them feel that my Husband is in good hands. It’s a beautiful piece of jewelry, so I’m not complaining!
For more info on the thaali, here’s what wikipedia says under its other name – mangala sutra.
“A mangala sutra (from Sanskrit mangala, meaning “holy, auspicious”, and sutra, meaning “thread”) is a necklace that a Hindu groom ties around the bride’s neck in a ceremony called Mangalya Dharanam (Sanskrit for “adorning the pious thread”), which is the main ritual of Hindu marriage ceremony. The woman continues to wear the mangala sutra as a sign of her marital status.
This practice is an integral part of a marriage ceremony as prescribed by Manusmriti, the traditional law governing Hindu marriage.”
Upcoming posts include the conclusion to One Wedding or Two? and the adventures of 9 family members in a van touring India. Reviews of the restaurants and hotels will also be included incase any readers need some recommendations!