About the Satpanth Bandhani, by Sultan Somjee | Khoja Wiki

by Sultan Somjee સુલતાન સોમજી – author of “Bead Bai”

Special to Khojawiki

Ma Khati Bai of Masaka, Uganda, at age 96, in her marriage bandhani. Courtesy of Karim Bhai Sachedina.

Sometimes at readings of Bead Bai, someone would ask me: Why did you choose to write on the bandhani?

My reply. For a long time, maybe even for forty years, I have been fascinated by the feelings that the bandhani has for the Khoja, especially the women. I often asked myself: What made our mothers and grandmothers, aunts and great aunts, carry the bandhani with them like a precious piece of history, if not an identity, of who they were as they moved from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic? This was during the difficult years of the great migration and early settlement in Africa along the Equator. They preserved this piece of cloth carefully wrapped in cotton cloth for a hundred or more years living in mud houses and tin shanties. The Uganda refugee put the bandhani in the only one suitcase she was allowed to take with her and she brought it to Canada (and the western Diaspora) so she may use it to wed her children as had been the ancestral custom. So they may know where they come from.

It has been our tradition that the bandhani covered the bride in a shine as she crossed over the threshold from her birth home to her marriage home.

Read more at the Source: Bandhani – Khoja Wiki


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