Celebrating the pious relationship of a brother and sister, the festival of raksha bandhan (raakhi) has attained another dimension to its festivities and Ludhiana is now gripped with marawadi tradition of tying thread to sister-in-law (bhabhi) as well.
An origin of Rajasthan, Marwadi community since ages celebrate raakhi festival by not only tying thread on brother’s wrist but also a beautifully crafted hanging raakhi called lumba or lumbi is tied to the bangle of sister in law (brother’s wife).
While the demand for these hanging lumbi was much less till recent years, now it has become more of a style statement and the trend is ever growing among Punjabis- especially now when lumbi are coming in attractive designs and materials.
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Sets of matching raakhis for brother and sister in law too selling like hot cakes, said Mandeep Gupta, a shopkeeper from Ghumar Mandi. “Earlier, people were not aware of lumba tying to sisters in law and we called for limited pieces as only ladies from Marwaari and Rajasthani families settled in Ludhiana used to buy them. But now they are more of style statement,” he said.
Sumeet Singal, another shopkeeper from chaura bazaar added, “Lumba are made mostly in Chandni Chowk and Chaawri bazaar of Old Delhi and we get from there. Moving from simpler designs, now lumba are made using exquisite materials like swaroski, crystals and precious stones and their prices go up to Rs 5,000 per piece and more.”
Shaina Seth, a city resident said, “I saw these raakhis for sisters in law while surfing the internet. Otherwise we never got them but this year I have purchased lumba for my sister in law.” “It is an old tradition in our families to tie raakhi to sister in law. It is great that other communities and religions are also following it now,” said Gopal Lal Aggarwal, a marwadi from Jaipur settled in Ludhiana.
Meanwhile, the ladies of Mahila Utthan Mandal visited Ludhiana Central Jail to celebrate raakhi on Saturday. The ladies tied raakhi to prisoners in presence of jail superintendent S P Khanna.