Sibling Relationships

Binaya Ghimire

I don’t follow every Hindu traditions, for example I don’t wear janai (sacred thread) that a man from my community must wears, I don’t abstain from eating chicken that a man from my community is not allowed to eat, nevertheless, I just like being a Hindu. There are so many things in Hinduism that makes me truly believe that Hinduism is the best thing to happen to the mankind. I say the best thing to happen to mankind because Hinduism has the best scriptures (Vedas and Upanishads), best belief system (seeing the existence of God in almost anything, animate, inanimate, even celestial bodies), best philosophy (theory of Karma, existence of soul) and more.
One of the specialities of Hinduism is that it honours almost everything. Apart from God worshipping, Hinduism also worships motherhood, fatherhood, and siblinghood. Hindus recently marked Rakshya Bandhan, a festival that honours the bond between brothers and sisters. Hindus also observed Father’s Day recently. While there is no certain historicity of the festival like Father’s Day, Rakshya Bandhan is one of the oldest festivals in the world with historical references. Greek history mentions that Alexander had tied Rakshya Bandhan with the wife of Indian king Porus. Bhai Tika is also another festival that marks the bond between brothers and sisters.
I don’t know whether American woman named Claudia Evart studied Hindu festivals of Rakshya Bandhan and Bhai Tika when she proposed The Siblings Day Foundation in 1997, but the Sibling Day gained a national holiday status in the United States Congress in April 10, 1997. Today, United States marks April 10 as the National Sibling Day. Europe incorporated Sibling Day in 2014. Europe marks 31st May as the Sibling Day.
The spirit of Sibling Day is to honour the bond between brothers and sisters. The only difference between Hindu festival of Rakshya Bandhan and Bhai Tika and Sibling Day is the former is religiously sanctioned and has some rituals to follow and latter is just a celebration of sibling relationship.
The sibling relationship, which begins early in an individual’s life, lasts as long as the person is living. When you maintain a healthy relationship with your brothers and sisters, your siblings will be a lifelong support, unequivocal care and love. Your siblings are with you longer than your parents, spouse or kids. Sibling relationship becomes more important with the aging process and you share the common norms your parents have taught you in your childhood and adolescent years. Your siblings know you more than anyone else because you have the same roots.
One of the best movies I have ever watched about sibling relationship is The Straight Story. The movie directed by David Lynch was released in 1999. The movie is based on the true story of Alvin Straight who travelled 390 km, in 1994, in a 30 years old Lawn Tractor with a maximum speed of 8 km per hour to meet his estranged brother. The story is marvelous because Alvin Straight is in his 70s and has legs and eyes impairment, yet wants to meet his brother, who suffered from stroke, and repair relationship before he dies. 

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