August 10 2014
Because at the LY University we are like family, we get to share personal events and one special event occurred when I was at the LY University: Sister’s Day on August 10th. It is called Raksha Bandhan and is a Hindu festival that celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters.
The sister performs a Rakhi ceremony, then prays to express her love and her wish for the well-being of her brother; in return, the brother ritually pledges to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances. It is one of the several occasions in which family ties are affirmed in India.
This is how the ceremony goes:
Sister-Brother get together, sister ties Rakhi on brother’s wrist (a sacred thread that the sister caringly buys), she marks Tilak (a mark worn on the forehead made in our case with a red powder, sandalwood paste and rice that sisters send to the brother), brother promises to protect sister, sister feeds brother (here it was some sugar crystals), and brother gives gifts and hugs to sister.
What was so special about this ceremony is that Dr. Kataria had received everything for the ceremony from his sisters. He connected with one of his sisters thru Skype – as they couldn’t be here and as we were four female volunteers at the LY University and he has four sisters, we each performed the ceremony, tied the Rakhi on his wrist, placed a Tilak on his forehead and fed him some sugar crystals! And he didn’t bite! Hahahaha
My brother died a year ago so this ceremony was even more meaningful to me. As I tied the Rakhi to Dr. Kataria’s wrist, I felt the presence of my own brother and remembered when we had always been there for each other no matter what!
To many, the festival transcends biological family, brings together men and women across religions, diverse ethnic groups and ritually emphasizes harmony and love.
This is what the LY University creates: a great big family!
Love and laughter
Volunteer at the LY University