This in response to the One Word Photo Challenge hosted by Jennifer Nichole Wells. This week’s word is : Jewelry.
Love it or hate it, but you cannot ignore it !
Here’s my entry for this week.
My husband and I are Indian and had a traditional Hindu wedding at my hometown two and a half years ago. Both of us belong to different cultures from different parts of India. I am a Punjabi from Delhi and my husband is a Kumaoni (Pahaadi) from Uttarakhand. I wouldn’t call our worlds vastly opposite but there are some minor contrasts here and there.
What I find remarkably unique in this picture is that I am wearing signature jewelry from both the Punjabi and the Kumaoni side.
The red and white set of bangles I’m wearing is called a “Chooda” and is worn by married Punjabi girls for a stipulated time after the wedding. We had a dedicated ritual on the day of the wedding where my maternal uncle gifted it to me and blessed me for a happy new beginning. I wore my “Chooda” for around 6 months post-wedding and I certainly loved it.
The golden hanging chandelier type thingy is called “Kaleerein” which is part of another Punjabi tradition. On the day of the wedding, all my sisters and friends (girls) came one by one and tied these small dangling ornaments to a bangle on my wrist. I finally had a lot of these on my hand and once everyone was done, all my unmarried brothers, sisters and friends sat up in a line for this fun Punjabi tradition. I had to shake my hands to make some of the ornaments fall on someone’s head. Legend says, that the lucky one, who gets a piece of it on their head, would be the next one to get married (our own Punjabi version of catching the bouquet 🙂 ).
The gold bracelet I’m wearing is a Kumaoni “Ponchi”. It consists of intricately carved beads made of gold, stitched on a red cloth to make a bracelet. It is a stunning piece of jewelry and one of my most favorite gold possessions.
I adore this picture and it is undoubtedly my absolute favorite from the wedding album. 🙂
It symbolizes the union of two people, two families, two cultures, two worlds. ❤
Some more thoughts on jewelry :
As Indians, we are a population obsessed with jewelry (especially gold). Actually for us it’s not just a piece of ornament or merely a precious metal, it signifies culture, tradition, religion, history and so much more.
So when I got married, I was literally forced by my mom and my mom-in-law to buy some gold jewelry sets (It’s a combination of a neck piece, earrings, bangles, and whatever you can think of, in gold). It is customary for a bride-to-be in India to buy gold (or jewelry of any kind) before getting married, be it for the wedding itself or for the future (In India, it is very common to think of it as an investment).
But knowing myself I was definitely sure that I would hardly ever wear those ever again in my lifetime. Not only are they very expensive (and hence are always kept away in the bank locker), but they’re also quite heavy and do not go with all your Indian outfits. The gold set, in its entirety is meant to be worn on weddings, or functions and there’s no doubt that they look wonderful. But the scientist in me would always reason, is it really worth spending so much, if I’m only going to wear it on occasions ?
I cannot even explain how strongly I resisted the idea. But, before even getting in it, I knew it was a fight I couldn’t win.
To cut a long story short, I’m happily the proud owner of two gold sets, which are locked away in my bank and have seen the outside world only two times in the last two and a half years (once for my wedding functions and another time for my cousin’s wedding).
Anyway, this was just a funny snippet that I recalled about my wedding and the jewelry shopping.
Further thoughts on jewelry :
My sister (Paperize), lives in Melbourne, Australia and is a fashion designer.
A few years back, she told me that she’s going to start making hand-crafted jewelry out of paper ! And I was like, What ? How’s that even possible ?
But then I saw the pictures, and my mind was blown !!!!
Here are a few of the stunning pieces she’s made and sold !!!!
I’m extremely amazed at the beauty of her work, immensely proud of her artistic soul and wish her the best for following her beautiful passion !!!!