Every parent reminisces their kid’s “Firsts”. It may be their first smile, kiss, jump, birthday, tonsure. To create such a memory my family is already discussing my daughter’s ear piercing ceremony.
In the Tamil language, its called as ” Kadhani Vizha“, where the ear piercing is considered to be a ritual and it is celebrated! I am very excited to see my kid with the adorable cute pair of earrings. I can already imagine her in the earrings sparkling to match her smile.
Karna Veda (ear piercing ceremony) is a Hindu tradition practiced in India. It is a religious trend and in some communities not doing this ritual is considered to be a sin. Apart from aesthetic reasons, ear piercing is also performed based on other beliefs.
Traditional and Scientific Reasons for Ear Piercing
- Some believe that the pierced ears help ward off evil.
- Acupuncturists believe the earlobes is a vital acupuncture point and piercing it has some therapeutic value.
- Susruta, the great Indian surgeon, advocates ear-piercing by saying that it prevents diseases like a hernia and Hydrocele.
- It is also believed that ear-piercing regulates the menstrual cycle in girls and prevents hysteria and other diseases.
Our Family Rituals For The Ceremony
Once I got married, I have to follow my husband’s Kuladeivam (Patron deities or grama devata of village assigned to the specific community). In other words, I accept his families religious customs as my own. Our family tradition ear piercing does not accompany tonsuring (shaving off the hair on the crown) which some other families do.
- Piercing are performed on all kids regardless of their gender on their eleventh month or odd years of age like 3 years or 5 years and so on.
- Auspicious date and time are calculated and discussed among the family members. Mostly ear piercing will be performed in the temples. Once the date, time and venue are fixed invitations for the ceremony are printed. There is some standard format of invitations which are printed especially for ear piercing ceremony. Now, generations getting modern, some prefer their own customized invitations. Below is an example of the traditional invitation.
- On the day of the ceremony, the kid has to be sat on her uncle’s lap (Thaai Mama- Mom’s brother). If the mother doesn’t have a brother then another male equivalent to her brother can take that place, could be the grandfather as well.
- A professional person who pierces ears is booked and he applies some lotion or ointment to make the ear lobes numb. Now he pierces the ear with a sharp needle and puts the earring which has been specifically purchased for the ceremony. This will be the most painful and sad part for any parents to watch their kids crying with the excruciating pain.
- The earring purchased for the function will be mostly made out of gold as it doesn’t rust and overall it is more affordable to buy for the Indians compared to platinum or diamond.
- Once the rituals are finished the guests and family members who have appeared for the ceremony are served food with a special menu. The food might be prepared at home or pre-ordered from any catering service and it depends on the crowd we invite.
- Nowadays, ear piercing is just carried out as a “childhood ritual” and no longer it’s seen as a tradition to follow. The girls retain the holes for wearing studs, while the boys gradually lose them.
My Own Ear Piercing
The day of my own ear piercing is still a nightmare for me. I remember it clearly, how brave I was and how much it hurt. My earlobes throbbed and the pain was excruciating. Unfortunately, I was one of the kids who got an infection due to piercing. Sadly, it took one whole week to recover. Now the situation is totally different and I love wearing long, big earrings and being an Indian, makeover is something I yearn and I thank my mom for making that tough decision.
My desire for earrings constantly increased. I wanted to get the second hole pierced in my ears when I was in my college and my parents said yes. Thank God I had the opportunity of piercing my ears with the professional using staple guns and it was not painful comparatively. Or maybe the decision was mine so I didn’t have anyone to blame and just accepted the pain. Ha!
Now, being the decision-maker on behalf of my kid makes me feel guilty and stressed. Considering the celebration and family get together this is a very important day for my daughter.
From being a daughter to the mother of my daughter, I cannot disagree with the concept of makeup or jewelry in a girl’s life. But at the same time, I don’t want to be a cruel mom who is fulfilling her desire to see her daughter with earrings.
How do I know my kid love to dress up like me? What if she grows up like a tomboy and hates to wear even studs? I feel scared. Am I being selfish? Maybe it differs from each perspective. If my mom had a doubt on this decision I would have ended up blaming my mom for not doing so.
With the bit of mom guilt, I am bracing myself to see my kid cry with that excruciating (maybe unnecessary?) pain. But I hope my daughter would love to wear earrings gradually.
Performing ear piercing ceremony is not only to follow the rituals blindly. It’s about family gathering to show their love and support. More importantly, family bonding gets stronger while conducting these Rites of Passages. I know my kid will not be happy about being held still and but the infant’s concept of pain is fleeting enough.
All, said and done : I don’t want my kid to miss this wonderful memory!
What’s your opinion on kids ear piercing? Do you follow any rituals? Share your story and experience with me in the below comments section.