Hinduism is a diverse body of religion, and cultural practice, native to and predominant in India, characterized by the belief in a supreme being of many forms and natures. I was recently given the opportunity to participate in a very special occasion practiced throughout the Hindu religion known as the Mundana Ceremony.
Number eight of the sixteen Hindu sacraments, the Mundana symbolizes a young child’s first haircut and signifies the time when the child moves from infancy to toddlerhood. In tradition, the child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving forward into the future; believed to bestow long life and good fortune.
Coming from a Catholic upbringing, my eyes were shed on something new, yet the spiritual aspect of the ceremony seemed all too familiar. As a hairstylist, I was presented with this unique opportunity to be part of such a special occasion, a part of another family’s memory.
On a typical Saturday afternoon you would find me in the salon styling hair, but today I would be a part of something new and to be quite honest, something that was quite different from what I was familiar with. A first haircut, and unlike any other special occasion that I had participated in before, it was a haircut that seemed to have a bigger story behind it than my day to day client at the salon.
Cutting the young child’s hair, I watched those long curly locks fall to the floor as the ceremony proceeded. Having been blessed by the officiant, family guests watched young Siddarth make the symbolic transition from infancy to toddlerhood. I realized that no matter what background or belief system one may have, life has an interesting way of teaching us new and enlightening ways of seeing and thinking.
To be a part of such an experience was quite the honor and turns out, my scissors treated me well that day.