Clarksburg, Maryland, U.S.A. – Every year, many brothers and sisters in Indian families around the world celebrate Raksha Bandhan, a festival representing love and a strong bond between siblings.
This year, we celebrated the festival on August 11, but it changes every year as Raksha Bandhan follows the Hindu calendar.
On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a small bracelet, called a rakhi, around their brothers’ wrists and bless them with good fortune. Brothers give their sisters a gift and promise to protect them.
Although the festival itself is rooted in Hinduism, it’s spread throughout the Indian subcontinent, over religious and cultural borders.
Growing up, I tied the rakhi around my brother’s wrist every year – it always made me feel closer to him.
I watched my mother tie a rakhi around my uncle’s wrist for years and my grandparents ‘tie’ a one around their own sisters and brothers in India over video calls.
Raksha Bandhan is special to me because it shows how the bond between a brother and sister lasts forever, regardless of how old or young the siblings are.
As my brother and I have grown closer over the years, Raksha Bandan has come to represent not only our love for each other, but also its enduring nature. Regardless of how different we are or how hectic our schedules may be, a simple rakhi shows that we are there for each other.
The rakhi is a symbol of protection and confidence in each other, the assurance that my brother will always protect me, and that I will always protect him.
As symbolic as this festival is, as a young person, I find the best part is the sweets and gifts my brother gives me!
Sreehitha Gandluri is a Correspondent with Youth Journalism International.