Raksha bandhan in changing times 1

festivals, rakhi, raksha bandhan, india

Wrist decked up with Big bold colors, round shape rakhi, a visit to all the relatives nearby. Ring a bell? ­čÖé ┬áThe occasion marks a special bond between brother and sister. Raksha Bandhan symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her. A simple knot of protection, one can say. The festival marks an unofficial start of the festive season in the country.

People across religion celebrate this festival, giving it a secular feel. As is the case, this festival also has legends attached to it but I am not getting into it. We will keep it for some other day.

Traveling provides an experience that touches deep within. Such thing happened while I was on my visit to the rural landscape of West Bengal back in 2012. I was surprised to see traditional rakhi in the local market at Durgapur, bringing old memories in a flashback.


rakshabandhan(Beautiful, Bold rakhi)

Good Old days

These round shape threads immediately took me back in time. Remember the craze around Raksha Bandhan during your childhood? Especially those born in the 1980s or before that period can feel this nostalgic air. Whole day outing for the family as relatives get to meet each other and exchanged sweets. For us kids, it was more about eating sweets, though. There used to be festivity in the air.

“For us kids, it was more about eating sweets”

Back then, it was not only about wearing those fancy big threads but also flaunting them the whole day and the next day at school. The bigger, the brighter, the better it looked on our small wrists.

Difficult to find such design, shapes these days. This thread of protection is also diminishing in size in modern times. No more round shape, no more bold colors. Markets were filled with these traditional threads at least a month in advance during our days.

Changing times

This simple occasion is a perfect example how we as society has changed.  No more Indian made in present times. Deep penetration the Mandarin speaking nation has done into our lives in all these years. Surely it is a sign of changing times, changing dynamics of the consumerist society that we have become. Cartoon characters from Doraemon, Pokemon are common designs. Raksha Bandhan has evolved into a more individual taste oriented festival. Fast-paced modern lifestyle has made every celebration a commercialized process.

such old designs are prominent in small towns and villages of India. Small town children are as enthusiastic about these as we were back in our days. People living in the rural hinterland of India have kept our tradition, our culture alive.  Big, bold colors are still having a life in smaller towns. They are our keepers while we urban dwellers are only looking at west.

Happy Raksha Bandhan to all of you.

How do you remember your Raksha Bandhan day in your childhood?

Anything you want to add, please feel free.

About amit kagra

Having traveled across length and breadth of the rural hinterland of the country understanding consumer psychology comes naturally to me. Cross-Cultural communication specialist, avid traveler, travel photographer

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One thought on “Raksha bandhan in changing times

  • Lenita Madeira

    *Raksha Bandhan

    Feeling the past through traditions must be a very good sensation.
    The souvenirs of a sweet flavor, the colours, the games, the people…
    We don’t have a few traditions in the big cities here in Brazil.
    I think tradition and modernity do not combine much; But if it is not so you do not walk towards the future and you can leave all legacy behind, better to live…