Rakshabandhan (Rakhi) Festival
The brotherly duties and sisterly love are symbolized
during the Rakshabandhan (ruk-shaa-bum-dha-na) festival in India. Women,
old and young alike tie specially made threads and thread watches (rakhis)
to their brothers to ensure their welfare, and protection from the evil.
The festival has evolved in the recent times and the
symbolism has been changed to connote 'brotherly love'. The all male
volunteers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (the RSS), engage in a large
celebration, tying the rakhis to each other, symbolizing universal
brotherhood. It is used by many girls to keep unwanted romantic
advancements by boys away (once you tied a rakhi, you are
considered like a brother and cannot be engaged in a romantic relationship
with the person).
Sisters line up to tie Rakhi to their brother
Vikas Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
Detail from a Indian Postal Envelope