Chetti "Happy Sindhi New Year" Chand

Today is Chetti Chand, better known as Sindhi New Year. So whats the big pomp about? I have no idea. It saddens me to know that I have no inkling as to why Sindhi's across the globe celebrate this day as our New Year. And because I have ants in my pants, I Wikipedia-ed it and did some much needed research of my own. The simple reason Sindhi's celebrate this day with such gaitey is because...(drum roll) it is the day Jhulelal, the benefactor of Sindhis, was born.

Born as Udero Lal to a small family in Nassarpur, he is said to have taken the Lal family out of repression. He was a child of miracles and taught lessons of love, unity and righteouness. He preached lessons of the above and travelled on a "Palla fish," and in 1020 AD, mysteriously disappeared into the water never to be seen again. It is also said, he was the one who miraculously stopped the conversion of Hinduism to Islam as the local king was forcing his kingdom to do so.

Should have figured it would be something as simple. It is also a day to worship water, "the elixir of life. " If history is to be true, the followers of Jhulelal went through underwater rituals for forty days and nights. They did not shave, change clothes, shave or use soap but wash and wore their clothes quite literally. This was in observance of the water God.

Through this crash course in "Sindhism," (My religious studies teacher would be so proud), not only did I learn heaps, but actually a lot of what I do, and eat make sense. Pallo Fish, is a Sindhi delicacy, and now I know why; Buckwheat is supposed to be eaten on this day, and happens to be my moms favorite food; Bahrano is actually an evening of Sindhi song and dance. All of a sudden Laada's (Sindhi songs) make sense to me.

We may not have a state but history and culture we have. My mother always says, "Sindhi's can make any place their home." That is probably true, but I believe ultimately, we wish we did have a state to call our own. After all, the world does house millions of us in all directions up and down the globe.

All this talk about Sindhi's makes me wish I had taken more of a keen interest in my culture. Learning the dialect would have been a fabulous start considering my father speaks it fantastically as does my grandmother. While I love being Hindu, I also love having an -ANI at the end of my last name. It makes me feel so proud. Yes, we have a reputation of being snakes, but a snake is a serpant who everyone is scared of. Why? Because he knows he will succeed.

Maybe that should be added to my list of New Year resolutions: Learn Sindhi. After all, I am Hindu and we have perks galore. We are allowed to celebrate New Year's three times a year: 31st December, Chetti Chand and Diwali. My culture provides me with three new chances, three times a year.

Photo Credit: Prem Prakash

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