Millions around the world prepare to celebrate Raksha Bandhan
Photo credit: Vishal Dutta/Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/6Mk1gf)
With the Indian festive season fast approaching, the diaspora around the world are getting ready to celebrate Raksha Bandhan with family and friends on August 26, 2018. For some, this time of the year can become especially difficult, particularly when loved ones are often miles away.
Marking one of the biggest days for families and friends to come together on the Hindu calendar, Raksha Bandhan celebrates the ties between brothers and sisters and literally translates to “bond of protection”.
The occasion is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana, sisters will tie a sacred cotton thread, or Rakhi, on the right-hand wrist of their brothers while praying for their well-being and prosperity. In return, brothers will give their sisters a gift as a promise of protection and love.
Photo credit: Vishal Maheta (CC BY-SA 4.0)
In 2016, there were over 16 million people in the Indian diaspora around the world, according to a survey conducted by the United Nations on international migrant trends. That same year, in Australia alone, there were over 733,000 people of Indian ancestry across the country, according to the national census.
Photo credit: Narendra Modi (CC BY-SA 2.0)
In celebration of the upcoming special occasion, hear how brothers and sisters in the Indian diaspora plan to celebrate Raksha Bandhan this year.
For the past few years, as my brother and I have learned to become close friends, Raksha Bandhan signifies the bond tying us together as siblings forever.
— Shirine J
I don't have any sisters in my family and we are the only ones away from home, but usually our cousins send them to us and my brother and I do the tying on behalf of them. The day has always been a reminder to protect and care for each other.
— Rudraksh G
My favourite way to celebrate the occasion is just by being with my brother, reflecting on all our past memories and creating new ones everyday.
— Anisha P
When I was little, Mum would always use it as a day to remind my brother and I that we'll always have each other, and to always look out for and look after each other.
— Norita L