What Are The Common And Unusual Indian And White Baby Traditions And Celebrations?
Different cultures celebrate different events in their own unique ways. Aside from weddings, one of the events that many cultures celebrate is the birth of a new baby. New family members are often visited by relatives and friends as a sign of welcome for the baby and support for the parents.
Both Caucasian and Indian cultures experience a lot of joy as soon as a new member of the family is born. This is why I want parents, especially interracial couples, to know more about the different traditions that their babies might have to go through as a result of their unique cultural backgrounds.
Here are some of the common and unusual Indian and White baby traditions:
What Are The Baby Traditions And Celebrations Among Caucasians?
In most Caucasian families, after being born, it is customary for the baby to be baptized or dedicated. This tradition has been kept for centuries by families who live in North America, the UK, and other predominantly white countries. This is also celebrated by non-white, but Christian, or Catholic people.
Of course, it is also customary for families nowadays to hold baby showers. Although this celebration is typically held before the birth of the baby, it is still something that families celebrate to help welcome the new baby. There are countries however who only give baby showers after the baby has been born.
Depending on their country of origin, there are also a few baby traditions that are actually very common in other countries although they may seem weird and unusual for many. Some of them include:
- Circumcision – Practiced among Jews, Muslims and Catholics, it is done in countries like the Unites States and Canada. It is only reserved for baby boys.
- Hanselling – Practiced by Scots, it is done by giving the baby a silver coin for good luck.
- Cake Sprinkling – Is done by the Irish to symbolize the circular nature of family life.
- Feeding Vegemite – Although most would loathe its taste and smell, it is actually one of the first foods that an Australian baby would have simply because it contains a lot of nutrients.
- The Agra Hadig – Practiced by Armenians it is done by placing different items around the baby. The first item that he or she picks will symbolize his or her future.
- Outdoor napping – While most parents would never dare to leave their babies for a second outdoors, parents from Denmark and Sweden would let their babies sleep outside because of the traditional belief that the cold will help them sleep and eat better.
- In the United States, it is a tradition to wrap the baby in a Kuddle-Up blanket after being born. It is also customary for members of the Church of Scientology to have silent births where everyone should stay quiet while the baby is being born.
What Are The Indian Baby Traditions And Celebrations?
The Indian people are very rich when it comes to traditions and celebrations. This is simply because these events will help bind the people, the family, and the community closely together. The Indians have many celebrations and traditions which are focused on the baby. Some of which includes:
The Godh Bharna – This celebration is done months before the baby is born. This is where the mother-in-law will fill the lap of the pregnant mother with different good omens. This is a very intricate ceremony, and it also involves a lot of festivities.
The Naamkaran – Is a traditional naming celebration that is headed by the ladies of the family. Done during the 12th day after birth, it is where the ladies will decorate the cradle. It is here that they will sing songs that rhyme with the baby’s auspicious name.
The Godh Bharai – This is the traditional Indian baby shower. During this occasion, rituals are performed to give blessings, good health, and safety to the mother and child. Here, relatives are invited, the elders give their blessings, and the mother’s hands are painted with henna.
All these celebrations are very important especially to those who want to honor customs and traditions. This is because these activities are deeply rooted in the Indian Hindu religion. Some say however, that the Naamkaran is the most important as it signifies that the baby is now incorporated into their faith.
Since there are a lot of ethnic groups in India and because there are a variety of religions in the country, some people may observe a different form of tradition or celebration. Some are somewhat similar, while others are entirely unique. This includes:
- The Annaprasan – it is the Indian version of the Aga Hadig where the baby is also given a tray of items.
- The Indian Muslim Celebration – is a Muslim version of the Godh Barai
- Valakaappu – Means “bangles and bracelets”. This is where the mother is decked in finery and jewelry for protection.
- Seemandham or Seemantham – A religious ceremony practiced by Hindus to protect the mother-to-be and the unborn child.
These traditions and celebrations are mostly time-honored and deeply valued by Indians and by Caucasians. A lot of these traditions have religious undertones, but you can rest assured that they all serve to bring the people closer to their own heritage.
Unfortunately, half Indian and White babies might have to go through different, and perhaps conflicting traditions and celebrations simply because they have multicultural parents. This however, does not necessarily mean that you and your spouse will have to argue over what the child will or go through.
Parents need to keep in mind that if they love each other, and if they love their child, they should learn to respect each other’s beliefs, culture, and heritage simply because these are what makes the entire family special and unique.