Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Open Letter to My Sisters

Dear Anne and Sarah,

Recently at work a colleague brought to my attention a festival named Rakhi. The thing that caught my attention the most about this festival, in this colleague's words were, that it was basically a day when for sisters and brothers. More specifically, it was a day when sisters pray for their brother's long life and show their love and affection for their brothers by tying a bracelet of threads on their brother's wrist.

Imagine that! A festival specifically for sisters to honor their brothers! I thought to myself, what a GREAT idea!

Before doing some additional research on the topic, I started thinking through the logistics of how I could import Rakhi back to the states, what day it should be, and whether it should work the exact same way (primarily symbolic) or if we needed to work some sort of gift giving toward the brother in addition to the bracelet.

Unfortunately, this colleague had failed to point out that there is gift giving associated with the festival. However, it's actually the brother that gives the gift and promises to care for their sisters for a long life, thus shattering my lifelong dream of importing a scarcely known actual celebration where sisters honor their brothers. I mean, the actual meaning of the festival is noble and all, it's just not the same thing.

Don't worry though, I'll keep my ears open in the event there are other festivals that might qualify.


Note to readers that aren't my sister: For actual information on the true meaning behind the festival of Rakhi (also known as Rasksha Bandhan) that took place yesterday, check out this link.


  1. Hey John, happened to visit your posts. Interesting.. I enjoy reading them.. different perspective.. keep it up.

    For this one, Rakhi means 'Raksha-Bandhan' which means 'Bond of Protection'. The festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread, by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her as she presents sweets to her brother. The brother and sister traditionally feed one another sweets.

    As far as the gift is concerned, the existence of 'sister' in our lives is itself an invaluable gift for us brothers. From materialistic perspective, the bracelet itself can be treated as gift and even sisters do gift goodies to their brothers... All in all, it is a celebration of love between brothers and sisters (not necessarily blood siblings)

    So eventually

  2. Thanks for reading and for the additional context; had I received your explanation initially there would have been a lot less confusion (though that's not to say I still wouldn't lobby my sisters for some sort of "brother's day").

  3. Dear John,

    I wondered how long it would take for you to try and establish a "Brother's Day," considering Anne and I have been celebrating "Sister's Day" for many years now. I'm sure we can figure something out...but it usually involves a shipment of cookies...think you could manage that?