Birth opens eyes to tradition

Christine Valentine and her husband Vas Srinivasan with their four-week-old daughter, Sita.
Christine Valentine and her husband Vas Srinivasan with their four-week-old daughter, Sita. Brett Wortman

CHRISTINE Valentine soon learnt about Hindu wedding traditions when she married her Indian beau Vas Srinivasan and the education has continued with the birth of their first child.

Sita, named after a Hindu goddess of purity, was born on June 23, nine months and two weeks after the couple was married in a traditional Hindu ceremony attended by more than 500 people in Vas's father's hometown in India.

Christine returned to the maternity ward of Sunshine Coast Private Hospital at Buderim yesterday to complete one of the Hindu traditions surrounding a baby's birth.

During a blessing ceremony at a barbecue with family and friends in May, each guest blessed Christine and the unborn baby and presented her with a bangle.

"The idea is that you wear the bangles when the baby's born, and after the birth, the bangles are given to the midwife."

Christine visited the hospital yesterday to give the bangles - and some not-so-Hindu chocolates - to staff in the maternity ward.

She and Vas will take Sita to India next year to complete another tradition - shaving the baby's hair as an offering to the gods.

Christine, an administration worker at the University of the Sunshine Coast, said participating these traditions were a sign of respect for Vas's family.

Topics:  baby birth culture hindu tradition

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