Indian women following the Hindu culture get to experience exclusive rights to wearing certain types of jewelry that make their marital status known and proudly so. While most of these enhance the beauty of the newly-wed woman, each has a profound significance. It also empowers the woman into the new chapter of her life.
South Indian women ensure to have the three most significant ones - Mangalsutra, Toe Rings and Gold bangles. Each of these has spiritual and scientific reasons for being adorned. Read on to know more.
Mangalsutra or Thirumangalyam
Thirumangalyam is the name given to Mangalsutra in South India. This sacred amulet is tied around the neck of the bride by the groom on the wedding day. The significance of mangalsutra in Hindu marriage is equivalent to that of wedding rings exchanged in commitment at a Western Wedding. It’s worn for life and is symbolic of the couple’s commitment to each other with love, respect and unity.
There are three main aspects when it comes to Mangalsutras:
The Length of the Chain: Traditionally, the mangalsutra chain was made at a length that touches the Heart Chakra of the bride. The Heart Chakra is located in the center of the spine, near the heart. This translates to 24-30 inches in length. The importance of the chain touching the heart chakra is to invoke calmness, balance and serenity in the wearer.
Pendant: Depending on the community, the thirumangalyam comes in different shapes and sizes. Some South Indian women have small gold cup pendants called Vati, with each representing mind and body. The vatis face the heart chakra to dissolve the wearer's negative emotions, particularly, ego. Two spherical beads may be added to the pendant to enhance positive vibrations. Other communities have solid gold pendants that represent the family deity and caste.
Gold: Almost all Mangalsutras are made of pure solid gold. The friction caused by wearing this metal on the body is believed to have significant effects. For one, it is known to increase blood circulation and control body pressure.
Ancient Hindus advised the use of bangles for women for the sheer conservation of energy that it does. The wrists of a human are considered one of the busiest parts of the body with it’s constant use. It is also a part of the body where one can tune in to check pulse. The heart ratio too can be checked from the wrist point that gives an excellent indication of health conditions.
Wearing bangles at the wrists, ensures there is friction and activity that increases blood circulation around the area. Additionally, the energy passing through the outer skin reverts to the body because of the round shaped bangle. Almost every Indian woman loves gold and chooses to wear jewelry in the same. The significance of wearing gold bangles, however, lies in its healing properties.
Modern brides also wear colourful glass bangles along with them. Each colour has a significance, commonly like:
- Yellow for happiness
- White for new beginnings
- Orange for success
- Green for fertility and good fortune
As per tradition, married women are expected to wear bangles always for the sake of good health, prosperity and good luck.
Toe rings or Metti are worn by married women on the second toe of each foot. These are made in pure silver and consist of two or three spirals. The significance of wearing toe rings in Indian culture has long been around for its benefits. By wearing these on both feet, it is believed that the pressure of the ring influences the nerve that connects to the uterus and passes to the heart. This helps in regularizing menstrual cycles and improving chances of fertility. Silver is an excellent conductor and absorbs energy from the earth through the feet, revitalizing the entire body.
The Indian culture is rich in well informed traditions and rituals that have significance behind each. Jewelry for married women follow suit with their importance in daily life too.