365photos 2011, musings

I find symbols fascinating.. Mainly because they tell you so much about the culture and history of the people..

This plate includes the common ingredients needed for a usual worship ritual of Hindus..and all of them are somehow tied to the social, economic and cultural lives in this part of the world..

I could probably write a 1000 word essay just on turmeric. Its the most commonly used spice, an antiseptic, its a beautifying agent, its grows easily…. Its yellow color provides it importance in traditional rituals since saffron/yellow/orange are all holy colors for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.

The red mercuric sulphide powder or Vermillion is the ‘bindi’ or the red dot you would see on the foreheads of Indian women mostly and even men. It’s supposed to be a protecting energy to the women and their husbands.

Rice is the pulse of south east asian agricultural economies. Without rice we would be a very different people. Hence its offered to the Gods. A symbol of prosperity and wealth, rice has been used in ancient Greek culture as well as offering to appease the deities.

And flowers of course are a symbol of purity in almost all cultures.

And this was just one plate. We had a ‘pooja’ or a worship ritual done for the new house to bring the home or ‘vaastu’ peace and harmony. Not being a devoutly religious person I was still intrigued by the countless little symbols used throughout the ceremony. I’ll post about them as and when I get a chance because with modernization we are losing all these stories of our heritage.

These are links that tie us to our history and ancestors and if I were given the option of time travel I know I’d choose traveling to the past rather than the future..


9 thoughts on “Symbols

  1. Awesome! I LOVE symbolism as well and this post was great. Anxious to hear more.

    I don’t consider myself a “religious” person anymore either and prefer the term spiritual. Were you raised in a religious home? (If you don’t mind me asking.)

    1. Thank you.. Glad you liked it πŸ™‚ And of course I don’t mind you asking! I did grow up in a household with strong religious beliefs. Thankfully Hinduism is what I call an ‘open religion’ so it never felt any different. Sure there are lots of traditions and rituals and festivals but most of it is celebratory. I have given a lot of thought to the concept in the past few years and I cannot say for sure that I have made up my mind about anything yet. But I feel that spirituality is inherent in every religion. Its just that religion has gotten a bad name because of how its followers interpret the tenets. Sorry to digress though πŸ™‚

    1. Hi K! Sure I’m going to try and upload them..sometime soon πŸ˜€ Saw the Wisconsin photos..great pics..looks like you guys had a lot of fun.. and I do not miss the snow! πŸ™‚

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