How many of us have rolled our eyes when asked to apply Mehendi for a wedding? Or perhaps, changed the direction in which we sleep just to honour our paranoid parents who think it will lessen our intelligence if our head doesn’t face a particular direction? What if we told you that Science, our go-to guy whenever we need a reasonable explanation of things, says so too?
Here is a list of some of the most common traditions and beliefs held by society that surprisingly, have a basis in Science. Want to know how? Read on.
Nope, no ghosts or spirits have accompanied you home that soap and water will rid you off. Science says that a dead body decomposes which leaves various bacteria and viruses in the air. The very same science (and common sense) says that having these harmful entities stuck on you can lead to health concerns. Hence, a bath is the most simple and the easiest way to prevent you from getting sick.
You might’ve seen family, friends, or colleagues deifying worshipping the huge Peepal tree. The Myth says that it’s where the souls of our forefathers reside; Science says that the Peepal tree is one of the very few trees that generate oxygen even at night, something that other CO2 converting trees cannot do in the absence of sunlight. This makes the Peepal tree highly advantageous and hence, an object of reverence. This doesn’t mean you should tie a sacred thread around its trunk, but that’s a topic for another day!
Tossing a Coin into the Water
Millions believe that tossing a coin into the river, especially a holy one like the Ganges will bring the person good luck. The science behind this tradition is interesting. In the olden times, coins were made of copper, an element crucial for our body, and the rivers were the only source of water. The wise old men of those times perhaps thought that throwing these coins into the water will ensure a steady intake of the metal in our body. Although not very pertinent in our times of stainless steel coins, this tradition continues to live.
Sindoor & Toe Ring for Married Women
This one might elicit a few laughs and sniggers! The second finger of your toe hosts a certain nerve that passes through the uterus and heart. Apparently, wearing a metal ring on this finger helps strengthen the uterus and helps regulate the menstrual cycle. Ladies, beware of your mother-in-law gifting you toe rings! As for the Sindoor, since it is a mix of lime, turmeric, and mercury– a metal that is supposed to activate your sexual drive– it is ‘recommended’ to be applied in married women’s hair partition!
Joining the Palms as a Greeting
A prominent way of showing respect to the opposite person, joining the palms has a much more scientific backing. When all the tips of the fingers join, it activates some pressure points which are good for memory. The long and short of it, the chances of you remembering the person increase with a simple ‘Namaskar’. Perhaps, try to study in this position?
Henna is known to lower the temperature of the body, helping you literally ‘keep calm’ as your wedding prep goes on. Applying Mehendi on the hands and feet ensures that your nerves don’t become tense as you stress about the D-Day. A good reason to apply Mehendi on other days too, right?
Pheras around the Holy Fire
Anyone who has ever sat in the mandap knows the sweltering heat and smoke produced by the holy fire. This mild annoyance at the tradition will fade away as you understand the reasoning behind it. Fire is known to cleanse the air around by killing the harmful bacteria in it. It symbolises pure air, as much as it symbolises the pure bond between the couple getting married.
There, now that you know the science behind some of our traditions and beliefs, maybe your raised eyebrows can come down a little?