The Thread that Binds Brothers and Sisters
My idea is a simple one: Why not celebrate Raksha Bandhan Day (Brother Sister Day) as we would Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – across cities in Canada, across North America, or for that matter, everywhere?
After all, Raksha Bandhan Day serves to remind us, South Asians, of the one of the most important lessons we can teach our children about our culture – that of love, respect, honour and duty of brothers and sisters. As well as share the message of the significance, richness and values of South Asia’s family-centered lifestyle, amongst our larger Canadian community.
I consider myself fortunate to have experienced growing up in a South Asian (Indian) family where traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, for hundreds of years. My favorite traditional celebration is Raksha Bandhan, or Rakhi. Over the years, my sister, brothers and I thought it was a very special celebration.
Embedded in Hindu religious customs, Raksha Bandhan is not only a time for blessings, but also a time to strengthen the bond between siblings. The idea behind Raksha Bandhan is an ancient one – carried over through the ages by practice of tying a colorful and decorative string – the ‘Rakhi’– celebrating the promise of ‘rakhsa’ (to protect) that the siblings would do everything to protect each other from evil influences or harms’ way. Today it is celebrated by people of various religious backgrounds including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and is increasing becoming popular amongst others.
So my goal is to take Raksha Bandhan Day city to city and spread the values of family unity across Canada. My own family, and in particular, my uncle, Satnam Bhatt, inspired me to purposefully follow through on this idea because it can serve a greater good – by encouraging youth to appreciate our family values and traditions.
We hope to have more people across our many cities join the movement of celebrating Raksha Bandhan.
Mayors of the cities and Brampton and Pickering will be present to celebrate Raksha Bandhan Day in different locations in their respective cities.
• Brampton: Raksha Bandhan Day (Brother-Sister Day) was officially proclaimed in the City of Brampton on August 21 2013.
To celebrate Raksha Bandhan Day with Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell, she will be at 9225 Gore Road, Hindu Sabha Temple, Sunday August 10, 2014. Tel# 647 648 0447
• Pickering: The City of Pickering officially proclaimed the Raksha Bandhan Day this year August 10 2014.
Raksha Bandhan Day with Pickering Mayor Ryan: He will be at The Devi Mandir, 12-5pm, Sunday, August 10th 2014 www.devimandir.com
Tweet Daniel Masih @rakshabandhan