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Friday, December 2, 2011

Walk Like an Indian Woman - The Bangles

In every bazaar or market, you'll find women sitting and trying on various rhinestone and mirror studded bangles. Indian women are rarely seen without them!

The bangle or choodi in Hindi,  plays a huge part in rites of passage for women. They are the pious symbol of matrimony. The bride is assisted by a best friend or sister when placing the smallest possible glass bangles on her arms. Apparently, the smaller they are, the more luck they bring for the marriage and the honeymoon (which lasts until the last bangle breaks!) Married women wear them to bring luck and safety to their husbands. In Rajasthan, you can still find women wearing ivory bangles from their wrists to their upper arms. A bangle ceremony is even performed in some parts of India for pregnant women in their last trimester with the sound being good luck for the baby.

From glass and metal

To silk threaded ones

At eco-lodge Apani Dhani in Nawalgarh, you can help the local community by participating in a bangle making workshop they offer to guests of the lodge. We watched as a couple from Spain tried their hand at rolling, heating and creating hand crafted souvenirs for friends and family.

Here's the process:

A tree resin is heated with pre-mixed colors

The resin is rolled to the desired thickness

After cutting and shaping, a metal ring is placed for reinforcement

Placed on a cylinder it is heated again to attach the metal to the resin

It is then rolled until smooth

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