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Bichiya (Toe Ring)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Toe rings worn as a symbol of married state by Hindu women and is called bichiya (pronounced: bee-chee-ya) in Hindi.Toe Rings or Bichiya are considered to be symbolic of married woman, Hindu religion prohibits unmarried girls from wearing Bichiya. Even in present times, girls refrain from wearing toe-rings before marriage. Bichiya is put in brides toe at the time of marriage generally by a married female or even by bridegroom in some traditions.

These toe rings are considered as one of the ‘solah-singars’ for the bride i.e. it is among one of the listed sixteen adornments of any Indian bride. As per the vedic times, these were carefully laid down for every part of body. Irrespective of class or economic status, these items of person grooming can be fashioned out of wood, glass, fresh flowers or precious jewels. Toe rings along with anklets were amongst the shringars to help women adorn their feet.

Earlier toe rings were not preferably made out of gold, the reason being that gold is considered as a respected status among Hindus and any gold ornaments cannot be worn below the waist. In present times though, this tradition is not followed very strictly and women can be seen wearing toe rings made of gold and diamonds. The toe rings are usually adjustable type and are available in a variety of designs with myriad motifs ranging from paisley, to fish to flowers. A single set contains two toe rings, one for each foot. With age, designs and patterns of toe-rings have changed but it's relevance in the Hindu society has not altered. Even today these are very much a part of the bride's jewelry.

Toe rings is also known as Mettelu in Telgu,Metti in Tamil,Bichwa in Bihar Uttarpradesh and Chutki in some parts of the country.


Sumita said...

interesting.... I never knew so much about it. I also wore them at the time of marriage but in Punjabis its not don't wear it anymore!