This afternoon, Tessa brought her two friends along called Nita and Sammit. They are brother and sister and do lots of fun things together. We then thought about ourselves and if we had any siblings. We discussed their ages and the things they get up to together. Some children did say that although they love their sibling, sometimes they might get a little cross with one another.
Nita brought something to show us. It was a bracelet called a rakhi. Nita told us how special it was because she had made it for her brother Sammit for the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan. Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of the love between brothers and sisters that usually happens in August. They wake each other up and spend the whole day together and they have to get on all day (!) before the sister presents her brother with a rakhi. Usually the bracelets are red and gold. The meaning behind the bracelet is to symbolise protection. Raksha means protection and Bandhan means to tie. Once the brother is wearing his rakhi he has a duty to protect his family as well as know how loved he is. The brother wears his rakhi until it snaps. The sister will also feed her brother an Indian sweet and light diva candles. A prayer will be said to wish for success and good fortune. The brother will then give his sister a gift to say thank you; this could be nail varnish, perfume, clothes, toys etc. For those children who don’t have a sister or brother, cousins can also make rakhis and present them to each other. Nowadays, rakhis can be given to any one who is special and loved.
We spent the afternoon thinking about this festival and thought about the people who we love. The children chose to make their own version of a rahki for friends and family members. Some children gave their brother or sister their rakhi during school time which was very heart warming indeed! We remembered to say why we were giving the rakhis to each other - why is this person so special to you? We also made cards to give to others.