Kids’ Mundan in USA Vs India: Simplifying the Tradition of Tonsuring

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“Oh! Your kids are going to be born with lots of hair.”, said anyone to whom I cribbed about the acidity I experienced while pregnant. “I would rather have them come out bald.”, I would remark.

And sure as sunshine, they both were born with a full head of baby soft, fine hair. As they grew, their hair got super curly and thick and I started dreading the Mundan ceremony.

The process where you shave off all the baby’s hair at 7,9,11 months or 1 year or 3 years.  They say it ensures thicker, fuller hair coming but has a lot of basis in traditional medicine too. What is ideally supposed to happen is that you take the baby to your native temple, the priest performs the ceremony, your family is of course there, you shave the baby’s head, wash it, apply haldi to it and then the hair is submerged in the water body near said temple.

Tonsure In USA

With my son, I was a new mom. So, going to India for the traditional Mundan ceremony was out of the question for me. So, on my mother in law’s suggestion, we kept it simple. When she visited a year later, we took him to a local barber shop, got all his hair trimmed off and then she took the hair with her to India. We prayed at home and wished him well. It was easy, no fuss.

Mundan in India

With my daughter though, it was hell on earth. The Indian barber came home, and seeing his scary razor I asked for him to use a trimmer. His trimmer was so much more worse. My daughter hated being made to sit still at 7 months. She cried and screamed as his horrid trimmer buzzed loud in her ears and then her hair was cut uneven because of course the trimmer wasn’t sharp. The whole family was crying with my little girl as she raised hell. It took a good hour to get it done.

If I could go back in time, I would just make sure to take her to a professional salon vs someone another suggests.

With all my experience in the past years, I’ve seen that kids, my kids have always had a better experience doing traditional things where I have known where to go through personal research.

I do not say, do not go the traditional route. I would however encourage you to keep things simple. Trim off the hair when and where the kids are most comfortable, at an older age and make sure to do the rest with a complete heart, having faith in the fact that no matter how you do something, the intention of giving your child the complete experience will stay true.

Have you had a Mundan or Tonsure done for your kids? Is this something you would consider doing? Have you had the traditional ear piecing ceremony done for your kids?

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Author: Aditi Wardhan Singh

Featured on CBS and NBC, Aditi is an authoritative voice on cultural sensitivity and empowerment. Published on various publications like Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmond Family Magazine, RichmondMomsBlog, WriterMom, Desh Videsh Magazine etc., this mother of two has also coauthored the best selling book "When You're DONE Expecting". She is the founder of the RWC magazine encouraging other voices like hers to come forth to create unique resources for parents everywhere so children can be global thought leaders. In her spare time, she enjoys choreographing recitals, volunteering and having dance parties with her two charming kids.

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