ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design

37. Music for your wrists!

a bride claps her hands decorated with red and white bangles

Women in India are very feminine and graceful. The neat distinction between gender-oriented roles generates delicate females: woman wants to be woman, and wants to be good looking. There are many ornaments that Indian women use to feel more confident and beautiful since time immemorial, and among this we find the chudi (pronounced churi), the bangles.
The variety makes it impossible to resist: there will be one of your choice even if you don’t like bangles. Because there are too many, and you can’t possibly dislike them all!
If you come to India thinking that a loose t-shirt and a pair of trousers will do, well, think again! In a month you will start feeling like you lack of something. Women of India wear perfectly designed dresses; have perfect hair and scarves in perfect combination with earrings and necklaces. And eventually a bindi (the little red dot) will enlighten your forehead! At that time, you will feel the need to choose and combine your bangles.


Chudi or bangles are round and rigid bracelets, usually without an opening. The word bangle comes from hindi and means “glass” – and the glass churis are the favorites of all times. The oldest example of churi was found around the wrist of a terracotta statue called “the dancer” recovered from the site of Mohenjo-daro (2.500 b.C.). 


In India it is said that a woman without bracelets brings bad luck: especially upon her marriage. Bangles art part of the traditional jewelry and you should wear them symmetrically on both wrists. At every single movement they produce a soft “clinking” – husbands think that in this way they always know where their wife is and how fast she is approaching.


The chudis are made with different materials: glass or laque are the most economical and common – and recently they were substituted with more resistant plastic materials. They can also be made of colored metal, silver and wood, bone or seashell.
The perfect place to buy your bangles is the Laad Bazaar of Hydebarad, were you will be literally submerged with bracelets of all kind, and you can witness the production of laque bangles (an art that is slowly disappearing due to low profit). Choose color, pattern and gems and you can have your custom churi!
The Murano of India, where glass churis are produces, is Firozabad, near Delhi.


During the hindu wedding rites, bride and groom walk seven times around a fire, but if the bride doesn’t wear bangles the event is not going to happen! Each region has its own rules on colors and materials to use.
You will easily recognize a fresh bride from the countless bracelets on her wrists: legend has is that the honeymoon is over when the last glass bangles breaks!


In the traditional India, you could have recognized the origin of a woman from the bangles she wore. In some communities of Gujarat and Rajasthan, women wear white, seashell bangles until their forearm. In the north, colored glass and laque prevail, but in the south women prefer gold.


Decorate your body is part of being woman in India. Even the poorest woman, like the workers you find along the streets followed by their children never do without churis. Of glass or plastic it matters not: their wrists must not remain bare and colorless.


And the colors! If you enter a bangles shop you will be amazed by the variety. Meticulously set to create color shades, they afford a sight delightful. All you have to do is sit on fluffy cushions, enjoy your chay and fiercely haggle until your very last rupee. In this way, you will have all the bangles you need to wear with your favorite clothes!
Trust the shop assistant for the size, and his knowledge will teach you how to put your hands through very, very small bangles. The tighter the better! A tight bracelet symbolizes beauty – and the shop assistant will teach you the how-to.

 Image Credits

Indian Bride by Wolfang MaehrGlass Bangles by Supratim Gosh; dancer by Chubby ChandruBride's Hands by Marian; On the way to Ambaji by Emmanuel Dyan; Indiaon the road, a woman constructor by R. Barraez D'Lucca; Bangles by Nagarjun Kandukuru.

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