Yesterday morning when I got to the office, three of the Indian ladies here came over and tied these bracelets around my wrist. Apparently, all of India is currently celebrating Raksha Bandhan, "a festival meant to commemorate the abiding ties between siblings of opposite sex." (Hi Natalie!) They put them on all the other expat guys as well, but I think I'm the only one who got three... <grin>

Here's UCLA's Department of Social Sciences on the matter:
"The word raksha signifies protection, and bandhan is an association signifying an enduring sort of bond; and so, when a woman ties a rakhi around the wrist of her brother, she signifies her loving attachment to him. He, likewise, recognizes the special bonds between them, and by extending his wrist forward, he in fact extends the hand of his protection over her."
I can dig that.


  1. This sounds like a great festival, perhaps I will make some bracelets to tie around your wrist! We do have abiding ties...siblings forever! You are so lucky :)

  2. My brothers all call this a ripoff. I believe their exact words, as summed up by the youngest, were --
    "You get a lifetime of protection and money and clothes and gold and we get ... string?!?!?"
    Then again, it is a culture that values male children over female on the whole. So I view it as cosmic payback.