Most of the Indian customs and traditions are derived from our ancestors. India has a very long history dating back to thousands of years. Education in ancient times was derived from the elders and preceptors of a family. Traditions and customs were taught at a very young age and followed as part of life. Education brings about a transformation in every Individual. We learn to question, reason and understand whatever we intend to do. But if we try and figure out the real intention behind what we are being asked to do, we would learn that our forefathers were as educated as we are today. You may be thrilled and happy to know the real intention of the customs we follow in our day to day lives.
Throwing Currency Coins into a River
The general reasoning given for this act is that it brings Good Luck. However, scientifically speaking, in the ancient times, most of the currency used was made of copper unlike the stainless steel coins of today. Copper is a vital metal very useful to the human body. Throwing coins in the river was one way our fore-fathers ensured we intake sufficient copper as part of the water as rivers were the only source of drinking water. Making it a custom ensured that all of us follow the practice.
Joining Both Palms Together To Greet
People greet each other by joining their palms and the reason behind this tradition is that greeting by joining both the palms means respect. However, scientifically speaking, joining both hands ensures joining the tips of all the fingers together; which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time. And, no germs since we don’t make any physical contact!
Applying Kumkum on the Forehead
On the forehead, between the two eyebrows, is a spot that is considered as a major nerve point in human body since ancient times. The KumKum is believed to prevent the loss of “energy”, the red ‘kumkum’ between the eyebrows is said to retain energy in the human body and control the various levels of concentration. While applying it, the points on the mid-brow region and Adnya-chakra are automatically pressed. This also facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.
Start with Spice and End with Sweet
Our ancestors have stressed on the fact that our meals should be started off with something spicy and sweet dishes should be taken towards the end. The significance of this eating practice is that while spicy things activate the digestive juices and acids and ensure that the digestion process goes on smoothly and efficiently, sweets or carbohydrates pulls down the digestive process. Hence, sweets were always recommended to be taken as a last item.
Applying Mehendi on the Hand and Feet
Besides lending color to the hands, mehndi is a very powerful medicinal herb. Weddings are stressful, and often, the stress causes headaches and fevers. As the wedding day approaches, the excitement mixed with nervous anticipation can take its toll on the bride and groom. Application of mehndi can prevent too much stress because it cools the body and keeps the nerves from becoming tense. This is the reason why mehndi is applied on the hands and feet, which house nerve endings in the body.
Sitting on the Floor and Eating
This tradition is not just about sitting on floor and eating, it is regarding sitting in the “Sukhasan” position and then eating. Sukhasan is the position we normally use for Yoga Asana. When you sit on the floor, you usually sit cross legged – In Sukhasan or a half padmasana (half lotus), which are poses that instantly bring a sense of calm and help in digestion, it is believed to automatically trigger the signals to your brain to prepare the stomach for digestion.
No Hair Cut on Tuesday
In past days a large portion of the Indians were farmers. After a week of hard work, Monday was their resting day. Characteristically majority of them cleaned their homes and cut their hair on that day. So the Barber wouldn’t have much deal with Tuesdays and would close his shop. This practice is continued till date but the reason behind it is completely forgotten and lot misconceptions revolve around this.
We Do Touch Feet of Our Elders
Cosmic energy flows in our body from one end to another; it is connected between two minds and hearts. It is this energy that is transferred through handshakes and hugs; moreover, the cosmic energy gathers at our fingertips, the nerves that start from our brain spread across all your body. When you join the fingertips of your hand to those of their opposite feet, and therefore, when we touch feet of our elderly, a circuit is immediately formed and the energies of two bodies are connected. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of other person become the ‘giver’ of energy.
People of Some Castes Are Allowed To Eat Non-Vegetarian Food and Not Others
According to Indian Customs, if we observe, basically, who should eat and who should not depends on the occupation of a person but not on their caste. Depending on the work they were categorized earlier and later we people misunderstood the concept and treated it vice versa. If your occupation is of sedentary type and you eat a lot of high-calorie food, you are bound to gain more weight and invite many sorts of diseases related to obesity.
The medieval caste system of India was based upon the occupation of a person. Therefore the people from a particular caste doing more physical labor were allowed to eat meat. A farmer who requires a lot of physical work was allowed to eat Non veg food. On the other hand, other castes like Brahmins who do Prayers and intelligent work requiring less hard labor were restricted from eating non vegetarian food according to Indian traditions. In the same way, weavers, businessmen were not allowed to eat any kind of non-vegetarian.
Adding One Rupee to a Gift Sum Is Auspicious
It is common in India to give money for weddings and auspicious occasions. It is considered auspicious to add a rupee to the sum total. For some it is the beginning of a new cycle, for some it makes the sum an odd number and indivisible which is a good omen for the married couple. If the rupee is not added the sum total will be separable or it will end in zero which indicates the end, so adding the rupee will make the number odd hence assuring continuity.
We Fast On Somedays
As per Ayurveda, Indian treatise on medicine and herbs, the basic cause of any ailment is the growth of toxic materials in the stomach. Fasting helps us cleanse that toxics gathered in our digestive system; moreover, our digestive system needs rest from daily activities. Fasting gives that rest to our entire digestive system and organs in the body. Thus, fast of the entire day is good for health; however, we should take lemon juice at regular intervals to maintain energy in our body.
We Do Worship Idol
As per modern psychology, man shapes his thoughts as per the object he sees. Man’s thinking changes according to the objects he sees. Idolatry was observed in ancient India so that people can absorb the shape of idols in their minds and thereby concentrate; this is the way to gain spiritual energy without losing concentration. An idol in the temple can help increase concentration while offering prayers.
Ear piercing can boost our intellect, power of thinking and decision-making faculties. It is believed that more we talk, more our energies get drained; piercing ears can restrain our speech; this also prevents our insolent behavior. The practice also frees our ear-channels from disorders. This tradition is now accepted everywhere across the globe.