Unique Indian Traditions!

India is a land of many cultures. It is the amalgamation of many traditions and customs, and each has a unique place in the hearts of its citizens.

One such tradition is treating guests as god, or “Atithi Devo Bhava”.

1899465_635114293415095000-1

The line is part of the verse mentioned in the Taittiriya Upanishad, Shikshavalli I.20 that reads in full as: matrudevo bhava;  pitrudevo bhava;  acharyadevo bhava;  atithidevo bhava. The literal translation of the verse would bring out the sense that an ideal person should strive to “become a person who considers the Mother as God, the Father as God, the Teacher as God and the guest as God.”

Tithi” in Sanskrit means a date. “A-tithi” means who does not have any date. In earlier days, there was no way of fast communication, and so guest didn’t have the means of communicating their arrival. So they used to pay visit without any information and therefore in course of time they came to be called as “athithi” i.e. one who does not have any fixed time of arrival.  “Devo” in Sanskrit means God-like and “bhava” means to assume/understand. Atithi Devo Bhava means to assume or understand a guest as God-like and so pay respect and homage in the similar way one would give to his God. This unique custom came about to make sure that no guest was left felling unworthy- each and every person was treated the same and not discriminated on the basis of caste ore creed or religion or colour. So, despite the high cultural diversity, guests in India are treated the same.

India

After it is understood that guest is like a god then comes the process of serving them. In Hinduism, the rituals performed to welcome the guests comprise of five-steps which is known as Panchopchara Puja. These five rituals from the worship similarly become the five “code of conduct” to be followed while receiving guests which are as follows:

  • Fragrance/Incence (Dhupa)
  • Earthen Lamp (Dipa)
  • Eatables (Naivedya)
  • Rice (Akshata)
  • Flower Offering (Pushpa)

atithi1

Thus, Atithi Devo Bhava, the tradition of hospitality in India is what drives the tourism industry. The Ministry of Tourism has even made this the tagline for their Incredible India campaign, which is used to increase social awareness, and they have even roped in Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as their brand ambassador.

Stay tuned to Triveni Times for more such insights on unique Indian traditions.

Authored by Sabiha Gani

Fusion of Embroidery Tradition & Contemporary Fashion: North India

India, the land of cultural diversity gave birth to a plethora of embroidery styles.

In the North we have the elegant ‘Kashmiri Kashida’ famously used in shawls, drapes, salwar-kameez and woollen-kurtas. This style uses a combination of the chain stitch, the slanted darn stitch, the stem stitch and the herring-bone stitch on a fabric of wool or cotton.

Pic1.jpeg

The ‘Phulkari’ stitch of Punjab and Haryana literally means ‘Flower-work’. Phulkari darn stitch is generally done on a base of dull hand-spun or Khadi cloth with brightly coloured threads that cover the material completely, leaving no gaps. It always follows a regular geometric pattern as shown below.pic2

‘Chikankari’ is a famous Indian embroidery technique that originated in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh during the Mughal-era inspired by Persian crafts. The word ‘Chikan’ is derived from the Persian word ‘Chakeen’ which translates as ‘elegant pattern on the fabric’. This style currently applies over 30 different stitches including back-stitch, chain-stitch and hem-stitch. The ‘Chikan’ is an open work pattern of Jali (lace) or shadow-work consisting of mesh-like sections.pic3

Triveni applies these ancient traditional embroidery techniques to create fashionable ethnic garments.
This gorgeous black Salwar Kameez is covered with beautiful, heavy Kashida embroidery. Use of bright pink and gold threads on a contrasting rich black fabric adds glamour and shine to the entire ensemble. Match it with your favourite gold accessories and it becomes the perfect attire for traditional celebrations and festive occassions.pic4

Phulkari Stitch in contrasting colours renders a royal feel to this yellow Salwar Kameez. Use of brightly coloured threads on a complementary light background makes it instantly attractive. It is excellent attire for daytime formal events. Use of peacock hues and motifs in blues and greens add an artistic touch.pic5

The tasteful application of Chikankari gives this modern Salwar Kameez a timeless classic look. Delicate Chikankari with light green thread-work embossed on a matching background is elegance re-defined. The suit is perfect as a formal office-wear and for everyday use.

pic6

 

Triveni has lot more to say about Incredible India, we will be back soon, so stay tuned to TriveniTimes

Authored by Oindrilla Mandal