Give it to me!

There is a Hindu tradition of falling at the elders feet to take their blessings during special events and occasions like birthdays, marriage, festivals etc. There is lot of history and science behind it. I will add some references in form of links later if you want to know about it. But what also happens is that once we fall at our elders feet and take their blessings, they give us some cash. No idea why and when that part of handing money became a part of the tradition. Cash in form of 10Rs note, when we were kids, which used to be a huge amount at that time. But that was only for our birthdays. For other events, it would be a 1Re coin or such. We were taught to save it or use it wisely. It has been so long since I have actually taken someone’s blessings by doing a pranama. But I don’t like people falling at my feet to take my blessings. During my brother’s & sister’s marriage when they were made to fall at my feet to take my blessings, I almost jumped a feet away. It felt so odd. That deed should not be done just because I am an year and half older than them. When I was at my brother’s place last time for my first niece’s birthday, she did her pranam to my parents (her grandparents) and was handsomely rewarded with cash. Seeing her get some money, my other niece and nephew also did the same and demanded cash. 😆 So when they were asked to do pranam /namaskaram (as we call it in Tamil) to me, I told them that it wasn’t necessary. ( I have had enough of people falling at my feet and not for the right reasons 😉 ) My second niece looked at me and said, that is alright, you can just give us the cash and get it over with then.

Some references:

Why Do We Touch The Feet Of Our Elders?

Touching Feet Of Elders: Mere Tradition or Science?

Science Behind Touching Feet In India

 


Post for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “cash.” Use it in your post as a noun or a verb… or a name! Enjoy!

 

 

SoCS Badge by John Holton@ The Sound of One Hand Typing

All about the names

In our community, it is a normal practice to use the grandfather’s name for the son’s and grandmother’s name for the daughter’s (the grandparent being the kid’s grandparents obviously). I was named after my grandmother (father’s mom) but then people younger than my grandmom can’t call me using her name (would seem rather disrespectful isn’t? Well, not in many other countries, but here, trust me, it is very disrespectful) so they had another name for unofficial purposes (aka to call me by that name at home, where my grandmom might be around) Later they combined both the names and now I am mostly known by my household name which sort of became my ‘name’ (both official and personal)

Keeping in with the tradition, my brother (who is named after my granddad) named his daughters the same way. The first one is named after my mom, and the second one named after my sister in law’s mom. Both short and sweet names. But at home, they are called using different names (which are also very short and sweet). And no, they haven’t combined both names to one. They don’t go that well together. Mine was the only exception. So today my brother went to book train tickets (for their annual vacation to my place) at the station (he found it was getting very tedious to do it online, so went to the station to get it done….took less time and less effort to get it done there). There he had to fill the form and in that, there were two names which were similar but the ages were quite different. One was 5 years old (first niece) and the other 65 years old (my mom). The person who was at the counter looked at my brother and goes like, ‘are you sure this is right?’ And took his sweet time to hear my brother’s explanation about the family names and such and finally was convinced and booked the tickets. I am sure the person who is gonna check their tickets is also going to have the same questions (or probably not, if he is having his granddad’s name for himself). And guess what, both of them got concession: one was underage (full tickets are assigned to people of age 6 and above), so only priced for half a ticket and the other was too old so, priced for half a ticket (being a senior citizen and all).

I have heard of people using the same names and adding suffixes like Jr, or Sr, etc., but what about in the case of women? If for example, you use the same name as your grandmom’s or mom’s? How do you differentiate when you talk about two women in a family having the same name. Haven’t heard of Sr or Jr associated with them. In our cases, we never assign Sr / Jr even to men, so it hardly matters and we do have two names for a single person.

One extra day, but still …

I was talking to my friend and was telling him about the holiday that is coming up this week Friday (Pongal festival, for which I ain’t going home) and then about the one on 26th (Republic day) and how nice it is that both of them are on a weekday, thus earning brownie points from me (I love holidays on a weekday, don’t you? ) and he  (not an Indian, obviously) was like, ‘how many holidays do you guys even have’. I was telling him that this is one benefit of being secular and celebrating festivals of all religions 😉

Every year, the second half of the year is always filled with holidays, right from July (starting with Ramzan) until December (ending with Christmas) there are one too many holidays every month. And if they happen to fall on a Monday or a Friday, the better. Long weekends, less leave to apply for a vacation 😉 Possibilities galore. The first half of the year doesn’t have as many holidays as the second half. But this year, in spite of it being a leap year (not that it means anything, except that we have one extra day and I wish they declare that as an official holiday from here on, at least for people who want to follow traditions ) all the prominent holidays that usually earn us weekday holidays in the second half of the year fall on a Sunday. WTH. Gandhi Jayanthi – Oct 2 – Sunday, Diwali – Oct 31 – Sun, Christmas – Dec 25 – Sunday, The next New Year is also on a Sunday. At the least we still have Ganesh Chaturthi – Sep 5 – Monday, Independence Day – Aug 15 – Monday, Dussera – Oct 11 – Tuesday, Ramzan – Jul 6 – Wednesday. So it isn’t an utter and total disappointment, but still, I would have loved to have the rest of them too on a weekday. And my birthday also falls on a Sunday 😦 Not a fine year for holidays, no sir.