American-born Boys Fly to India for Hindu Ritual

January 24, 2001

Source: The Kansas City Star

On January 24, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported on a ceremony in India marking the beginning of a boy's passage into adulthood: the "traditional Hindu Thread Ceremony, in which the youngsters vowed to honor their parents, study hard, serve their community and take on religious responsibilities. The ceremony is seen as a second birth." The ceremony is performed when males of the three upper classes in India reach the ages of 5-24. "The ceremony began with Priya Sane and four other female relatives feeding the brothers a sweet pastry called laddo as soon as they stepped into the doorway of the banquet hall... About 100 friends and relatives watched as the brothers and their parents received gifts made of silver and learned prayers called mantras. They sat behind a curtain with their father and uncle on the other side. They vowed to be good, responsible people." They then received garlands of flowers, and threads to hold when they pray, to keep them calm. Sagar and Sameer Sane, brothers, who are 14 and 11, flew to India with their parents over the winter break to participate in the ceremony. They say they enjoyed the ritual. "Priya Sane said the brothers may not understand the significance of the ritual now, but that they will appreciate it as they get older. 'We are satisfied that we did this for them,' she said. 'They should know their roots and down the road they will have this as a memory. They should understand the culture. That is their origin.'"