The varied identities of Mangalsutra (Mangalyam/Thaali)
It is very surprising to witness that about 85 % of woman in India still adhere to the wedding customs, rules and regulations very strictly. The devised rules does matter a lot to many of them although India has been too much into westernization recently. When it comes to Hindu weddings, it is very important that a woman pays intricate attention to Mangalsutra, nose ring, toe ring, Sindoor and bangles.
In South India woman pay attention to Mangalsutra, Sindoor and toe ring that signifies her wedding and her status as married. In North India, woman pay attention to Mangalsutra, bangles and toe ring specifically. Nose rings are worn by many single ladies too, their way of being in sync with the trend and fashion. Wearing a Sindoor denotes that the bride is blessed with luck/fortune and gets to stay happy forever with her spouse.
Out of these five identities, Mangalsutra is considered very pure and is the most precious ornament in Indian Weddings. There are different types of Mangalsutra based on the caste subdivisions within the Hindu religion and based on the different regions within India. Some wear a Mangalsutra that carries two strings made up of small black beads with a gold pendant designed in the middle. The gold pendant will further carry intricate designs suiting the couple’s interest.
Sometimes in South Indian weddings the Mangalsutra is made up of yellow cotton thread with a Gold pendant hanging in the middle while in North India the Mangalsutra is made up of plastic thread. Depending on the budget of the family, the Mangalsutra has its own form. If a family has a very low budget and if they aren’t able to afford a Gold Pendant then they go for the Mangalsutra that is made of a yellow cotton thread with turmeric affixed in the centre.
The amount spent on Mangalsutra however doesn’t matter, but the promise made by the couple to support each other throughout matters a lot. There are also different types of Mangalsutra prepared from different metals like Gold, Silver and Diamond studded Gold and this totally depends on the budget that has been fixed by the couple for the Mangalsutra.
Mangalsutra gained its fame through Southern parts of India. Even now woman in South India strictly follow the custom of wearing the Mangalsutra after wedding and they never let go of it even for a second from their necks. They always tend to follow the ancient mythological views which states that at any point of time if the Mangalsutra tend to slip out of a woman’s neck, then it signifies that her husband is in danger. They strongly believe this fact and South Indian woman never tend to lose it out of their necks.
Also in a South Indian wedding, the groom ties the first knot and his sister gets to tie the other two knots. The purpose of multiple beads included in the Mangalsutra depicts the woman’s way of blending and integration into the new family. Also they are made of black to protect the woman and her family from evil. Hopefully Westernization doesn’t take away the purpose, significance and importance of Mangalsutra in India and let us enhance the importance of Mangalsutra by sharing and spreading our customs and tradition prevailing in our incredible India.