There is a tradition in some Hindu cultures to wear the “chura” bangles from the day of the wedding for some amount of time after. Some communities wear them for a month after the wedding, others for four months, and still others for a full year. Wearing these sets of bangles (usually ivory and maroon) mark a woman as newlywed. My cousin participated in this tradition, wearing her chura for a year after her wedding. Here is a post I discovered written by another white woman married to an Indian man in which she discusses her choice to wear chura: http://mydelhiadventures.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/the-markers-of-a-newlywed-2/ (You’ll see it written both “chura” and “chuda” because there is a letter in the Hindi alphabet that is a cross between an “r” and a “d” sound so it’s hard to know how best to transliterate it!) You can also get kalire, which are little drum shaped ornaments that hang from the bangles. People tie them to you for good luck!
I love traditions like this and I look forward to doing so as well. But I need to find appropriate bangles. I want them to look nice for the wedding, but not be so blingy that they’ll look out of place during a normal day and I also want them to fit me well. I have absurdly small wrists!
Turns out that I’m not the only person with this issue: http://www.alterationsneeded.com/2009/04/bangle-bracelets-for-thin-wrists.html
She recommends Etsy and I did find an Etsy seller doing chura-style bangles, but I wanted a bigger variety of choices. In order to buy online, I was going to need to figure out what my wrist size is.
Here is a helpful chart I found: http://www.carmaworld.com/images/Bangle_Size.pdf
I found a few other sizing charts, and I think my wrists are a 2.4
So now I just need to select one of the many nice sets available:
If you can find your size, Ebay can be a great option (and sellers might be able to get you other sizes, if you contact them):
These type of bangles are not to be worn in any other context except as a new bride. It is considered to be bad luck to wear them before you are married. If you wear them for fashion only, people are likely to take offense to that!
I’ve seen some white women married to Indian men express reluctance to wear these for fear that people will assume that they’re just doing it for fashion or because they think it looks cool. Me personally, I think you’re fine to wear them as long as you are actually a newlywed. If people question you about wearing them, then you can say “Yes, I’m wearing them because I am a new bride.” This will be my only opportunity in life to wear them, so I’m going to! 🙂
(I’ve heard some people say that the tradition began as a way to give a new wife a more relaxing first year. The original bangles would have been made of glass and intensive labor would break them. I don’t know if that rumor is true, but that’s what I’ve heard!)