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Marriage symbols
Marriage symbols

Sreyoshi Mukherjee
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Thursday, April 16, 2009
What is the significance of a pair of shell shakha and red coral paula bangles worn as marriage symbols by the Bengali women

Posted On : 4/16/2009 2:07:23 AM

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Kongkan Nag
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Saturday, March 14, 2009
Hi Sreyoshi, this is a nice post from your side. I can provide you some information on this topic as per my knowledge. The Shell Shakha and Red Paula bangles have a great importance in Bengali marriage rituals and are a significant sign of marriage. It is found that almost all married Bengali women wear these two bangles for their lifetime or till their husbands are alive. However, some women from the higher class of the society sometimes avoid wearing these two bangles. There is a wonderful history behind Shakha and Paula. It is believed that in ancient period, the Bengali farming community who stayed close to the river bank used to collect conch shells, powder them and make bangles out of the powder. They also used to make Paula out of red coral. After making the bangles, they used to gift them to their wives, as they were not capable of affording bangles made of ivory due to their poverty. This practice gradually gained popularity among the other communities, as they were quite cheap compared to the bangles made of ivory. Apart from affordability, another important factor for increasing popularity of Shakha and Paula was good health and prosperity. Both Shakha and Paula are worn by the women in both hands. Paula is worn between loha bandhano iron bangle . Shakha is worn to avoid friction between positive and negative energy, as iron signifies flow of positive energy. The ritual for wearing Shakha and Paula during a marriage ceremony is also quite interesting. This wedding custom usually takes place in the morning. At first, both the bangles are dipped in turmeric water and seven married women who symbolise seven forms of a goddess put the bangles into the bride s hands. The Shakha and Paula are gifted to the bride by her mother and the loha bandhano comes from the groom s house. Though, the tendency of avoiding these two bangles is increasing day by day among the Bengali women, the custom still holds a great importance in Hindu marriage ceremonies.

Posted On : 4/16/2009 5:26:04 AM

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gouri
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
lovely reply..some one argued what happens if we avoid wearing shaka and paula..i got my answer .thanks a lot

Posted On : 2/23/2011 7:19:36 PM

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