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Symbols Of Marriage In Hinduism

Vermilion (kumkum) is a red colored powder that is applied in the parting of the hair by married women [found as far back as Indus Valley]. This sign of marriage is more or less consistent among women from all over India . Sindoor is symbolic of the red flame of Sati and Parvati, both forms of Shakti. It is supposed to give power and determination to a wife.

Mangalsutra is the thread that binds a woman forever to her husband. The mangalsutra is not as universal as the sindoor. Women from the Eastern parts of India do not wear it. Every community has its own kind of mangalsutra but it is always made of gold and black beads. The black beads of a mangalsutra are supposed to ward off the evil eye.

Thali is the South Indian equivalent of a mangalsutra. It is primarily made of a cotton thread. In case of Tamilians the thread is yellowed with turmeric. It contains many other elements like coral, black beads etc.

Most Indian women wear bichiya or toe rings on their second toe after marriage. This symbol of marriage reminds a woman of her marital status and the restrictions that come with it.

And bangles, after a Hindu marriage is communed, the wife is never supposed to leave her arms bare. She must always wear bangles to signify that she is married. Some women wear red or green glass bangles. It is called ‘shringar’ or making yourself attractive for your husband. Gold, silver or bangles of other materials can also be worn for shringar.

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