May13,2006 Madison,Wisconsin - USA
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Brief Description of Tamil's Baby Rituals
Valaikappu (Bangle Ceremony)view Photos Mottai Addithal (Tonsure) Kaadhu Kutthal (Ear-Piercing)
A ceremony called 'Valaikappu' is held in the seventh or ninth month of pregnancy, when the pregnant women is presented with new sets of glass bangles and the sound of these bangles is supposed to reach the womb.Her mother-in-law or sister-in-law leads her to the temple and to a bangle shop where she selects the bangles of her choice. Some families arrange to get the bangle-seller to their houses and the purchase of the bangles is apart of the ritual. She seeks blessing of elderly men and women after putting on the bangles prayers are invoked for the well being of the mother-to be and the fetus. Priests are not involved.


This ia a ritual connected with the tonsuring or head shaving of children. This is usually done during the first or the third year of the child.The hair is consecrated and offered to the respective family deities. Celebrations or chanting of mantras are not involved.The child receives new dresses from its parents,maternal uncle and grand-parents. It is a very important event for the Tamil Hindus in India. According to Hindi belief, the piercing of a hole in the ear completes the shape of AUM, based on the shape of the ear. The baby is made to sit on his maternal uncle's lap during the ritual. A goldsmith is invited to do this and he is given cloths and money.This ritual is performed for children of both the sexes. While the girls retain the holes for wearing studs, the boys gradually lose them.
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