Raksha Bandhan - A Tradition of Unity

Raksha Bandhan - A Tradition of Unity
“In union there is strength” – Aesop

This Sunday, August 26th, millions of women in India will tie a colorful, ornate band symbolizing protection and love to their brothers’ wrists in a festival that brings families together and showers the ladies with pressies…yep, Raksha Bandhan is a fun one!

Humor aside, our favorite Raksha Bandhan story is that of Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel laureate, poet and social reformer, using the festival to prevent the partition of Bengal in 1905.

“Following Tagore’s call, hundreds of Hindus and Muslims in Kolkata, Dhaka and Sylhet came out in large numbers to tie Rakhi threads as a symbol of unity. He transformed the religious tradition of Raksha Bandhan to a secular motif of unity among diversity and resisted Banga Bhanga (Partition of Bengal)"– The Indian Express, “How Rabindranath Tagore used Raksha Bandhan as means to prevent 1905 Bengal Partition”.

Their message to the British government was clear – we are all brothers and sisters here. We are united as a community. Don’t divide us.

For us, Raksha Bandhan embodies that spirit of brotherhood and community. We love that it places the responsibility to protect and help one another on every individual.

We hope your plans for the coming Sunday include “we time” with dear, near and far ones. Oh, and if you have a sister (cousins and sisterly friends included!), get her something decadent! Happy Raksha Bandhan!

The love in my body and heart
For the earth’s shadow and light
Has stayed over years.
With its cares and its hope it has thrown
A language of its own
Into blue skies.
It lives in my joys and glooms
In the spring night’s buds and blooms
Like a Rakhi-band
On the Future’s hand.
                                                                                    - Rabindranath Tagore


Tejal Ramnathkar Engman is the co-founder of Malavara. Having left India at 17, she has come full circle to her herb-mixing granny's Ayurvedic beauty traditions. Tejal lives in Washington, DC, and her new year's resolution is to squeeze more hot yoga into a schedule that is currently consumed by a rambunctious 4-year-old, a day job in real estate, and her passion, Malavara.

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