Traditionally, there is more to a marriage in India than just celebration and fun. Various customs and rituals are associated with marriages which portray the real essence of wedding. Traditionally there are five signs of marital status of women, according to Hindu culture- mangalsutra, toe-rings, kumkum, bangles and a nose ring.
Talking about Mangalsutra, the word denotes a significant meaning. While mangal means auspicious, sutra can be deciphered as a thread. Every married women used to get a Mangalsutra, which is known as Thali in Tamil and Thirumangalyam amongst srivaishnavas. This is believed to regularise a women’s blood circulation. This is believed to regularise a women’s blood circulation. it also controls the body pressure levels to a maximum extent, as Indian women tend to work hard, more than her male counterpart. The more the mangalsutra touches your body the more the above said benefits. Mangalsutra holds the same significance in India as the rings in western countries.
Another symbol is Metti or Bichhua (toe ring) used by Indian married women in general and Brahman women in particular. It is made of silver. This is a ring with two or three line rounds, worn in the second finger from toe. By wearing this in both feet, it is believed, that the menstrual cycle course is regularised with even intervals. This gives good scope for conceiving to married women. It is also said that a particular nerve in the second finger from toe, also connects the uterus and passes through the heart. Hence, the friction caused while walking and doing all sorts of chores revitalises the productivity organs.
The next item is a piece of stud-like ornament worn by women in their nose, commonly known as nose-ring and nose stud. Also known as Mukkuthi or Mookuthi in Tamil and Nath in Hindi. The custom to wear this ornamental jewel is typically different from one state to other, one caste to other and even different amongst communities. Some use it in their left nose, some at right and few wear it on both sides of their nose. Though it is mainly used for beautifying women, the in-depth meaning can be termed as unfound myth. It is considered as a breath and some say it is just to eliminate the poison coming out while exhaling carbon. Because the practice varies from one part to another, one cannot be sure about the benefits.
Bindi and vermillion
A bindi is a forehead decoration worn in South Asia (particularly India) and Southeast Asia. Traditionally it is a dot of red colour of sandalwood paste, turmeric or vermillion applied in the center of the forehead close to the eyebrows, but it can also consist of a sign or piece of jewelry worn at this location. Do not confuse it with the tilak which is also used by men to show religious affiliation or by both sexes after a puja ritual to invoke religious feelings.
Bindis these days are worn by women throughout South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan) irrespective of their marital status. It is no longer restricted in colour and shapes and is available in abound styles. In addition to the bindi, a vermillion mark in the parting of the hair just above the forehead is worn by married women as a symbol of their marital status.
In North India, many women deck their arms with bangles in vivid green and red. And the Chooda that is presented to the bride by her mama (maternal uncle) is the one she has to wear for at least 40 days after her marriage. It is traditionally a set of ivory bangles with inlay work.The shell shakha and red paula bangles hold a great importance in Bengali marriage. Almost all Bengali women wear these bangles for the lifetime or until their husbands are alive. A ceremony during the wedding takes place wherein these two bangles are dipped in turmeric water and subsequently seven married women, symbolising seven goddess put the bangles in the bride’s hands.