Saturday, 6 February 2016

▎ 哐噹的手鐲祈福(Valaikappu Bangles)

臨產婦人的手鐲祈福 Valaikappu Bangles for delivery

So lucky my friend Jega invited me to his seven months pregnancy wife Pavithra's Valaikappu ceremony, the ritual ensures health delivery of the fetus. This evening, relatives of two families and friends gathered in the parental home of the girl.  All sisters of Pavithra help her to dress up in her orange formal wedding costume, and she looks as gorgeous as a bride today. 

When all offerings be prepared, Pavithra was allowed to sit on the white cushion. She was facing the main entrance of her home, and the door decorated with mango leaves that worship and paint with limestone, sandalwoods and saffron powder. People who joined the ritual were female adults as me, and they bring biscuit, kuih, fruits and a great deal of bangles. (also Saree in the documentary mentioned). In traditional Tamil family, they believed if the expectant mother adorns great amount of bangles on her both wrists, the sound of bangles will let the fetus feel joyful. Arrange an odd number of bangles in the left hand and an even number of bangles in the right. First of all, the host (sister-in-law) puts on Vappa Kappu, bangles made from neem leaves stem for her, and later was golden and silver ones. Valai means strings, kappu means protection.

In front of Pavitha, a small mound of turmeric paste and a pinch of durva grass is added symbolizing Genesha. Three kinds of rice that wrapped in banana leaves and white muslin to predict the gender of the baby. Pongal porridge means boy, turmeric rice means girl and curd rice means  xxx (not sure).  In whole ceremony, Jega, the husband, to split the young coconut up and do worship. Pavitha’s mother who well dressed up was also the main character today, she did powders ritual on daughter’s forehead, cheek and wrists, and splashed flower petals on her head. They acclaimed the fresh perfume of petals can malign the spirit of evil eye that closed to pregnant, and the mango leaves hanging on the doorframe have the same meaning. The mother-in-law feed some biscuit to Pavithra, they declared the sweet will let the infant delighted.

Females were welcome to join the ceremony, and they bring wishes and “exchange” to each other, it comprising a handmade box, petal leaves, bangles, orange lines. Finally, all dances around Pavitha and send wishes to mother-will-be and fetus. Hinduism, Christian or Muslim family will do the ritual to the pregnant. in India, a daughter who has the first baby will go back parent’s home to delivery, but in Malaysia, they still stay with her husband.

朋友Jega的邀請他懷胎七月妻子Pavithra的順產祈福禮。這天傍晚,雙方家人齊聚Pavithra位於白雲山山腳下的媽媽家。這些堂姐妹幫忙P梳妝打扮並穿上了一襲橘色紗麗禮服( 是結婚禮服),這一天仍在孕期末的她好像又做了一天美麗的新娘。




街邊二:儀式的細節(details of Valaikappu)
What bangles to use during Valaikappu? 
Durva Grass

6 &11 Feb 2016

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