Last year when I told my son that my daughter will tie him Rakhi, he was mad. What do you mean, I have to protect her and give her money? I, not willing to question an ancient ritual told him in my classic Indian parenting style said, “this is our culture. This is what you must do”. It didn’t go well. We never questioned gender bound roles growing up. But I question them now. Not because I don’t honor them but because I am empowered. And it’s liberating to see that I am in August company and the narrative is shifting in India as well.
Away from home for decades, I have understood that a ritual will only survive if we are willing to adapt and let our children adapt it.
So I told my children, they must make two Rakhis and tie on each other’s wrists. They made rubber band bracelets, handed each other candy and $20. Not too shabby.
They were in their karate uniform for the ritual. Two warriors promising to take care of each other. What else can a mother ask for.