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Ebony Bokken – A Detailed Guide

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Ebony is a kind of hardwood that doesn’t have its origin in European countries. The grains of this wood are of many colors with dark black, brown, and black stripes. The main feature of this wood is its hard texture and density. It is one of the most preserved types of wood. The ebony bokken is commonly used in the making of marquetry, veneers, musical instruments, chess pieces, and high-quality art pieces.

In Mythology too, Ebony is used as a sign of classic and noble beauty. It speaks of positive development. You must have attended magic shows; the magic wands are often made up of ebony.

Bokken is conventionally made out of hardwood, mostly white or red. They are more or less of the same weight and shape as Katana. Though, there is an edition called Suburi Bokken which is quite heavy. Read below to know more about Ebony Bokken:

  • It is used in the making of ornamental bokken, and other practices of suburi. The African species of ebony bokken are usually offered to the teachers by their students as a gift on particular occasions. This wood is imported directly from Africa. Every model is chosen according to its pictures and unique features.
  • Ebony bokken is also used in the form of wooden swords by martial arts trainers. They are used in Aikido, Kenjutsu, Kendo, Budo/Bujutsu.
  • It is also used in the development of muscles used in martial arts and improves the speed of trainers. The concept is that the students will get habitual to training with a heavy weapon first. Then, a bokken or normal sword will make them easy to practice.
  • The Bokken is mostly used as a practice weapon, it can be a good weapon to use. It is used by the most popular swordsman Miyamoto Musashi to practice in the dual fights with Katana.
  • Mostly, people use them in solo practice drills but can also be used for sparring practice and partner work. They are also suitable in the practice defenses in opposition to attacks using a bokken in various styles. These styles are Aikido, Ju-Jitsu, etc. They are the best katana that are 42 inches in length, so when you are all set for using them, you can start using an original katana.
  • Bokken can also be used as a self-defensive weapon. Earlier, many martial art practitioners used to make use of ebony bokken for defending themselves again wild animals. Bokken can also be used for hunting.

That’s all you need to know about ebony bokken and its uses. It is considered a safer alternative to sharp swords and weapons. There are different types of bokkens and ebony is one of them. You can find ebony bokken in and around martial arts centers. It is usually made up of oak and hardwood. You find it to be of the same shape and size as other swords but it is quite different and unique. It is even safe to use for the practitioners.

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Have You Had It with Annoying Phone Calls?

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Annoying Phone Calls

Do you get to a point and time where annoying phone calls get the better of you? If so, what do you plan to do about them?

For many individuals, such calls can add up over time. When they do, some people get to the breaking point and want a resolution.

If you’ve been getting sales and other calls that bother the heck out of you, is it time to change this?

Look at Options to Curtail the Calls

In your efforts to curtail the calls, keep a few things in mind. They include:

  1. Know who is making them – Knowing where the phone calls are coming from in the first place makes a difference. That said how can you go about that? One option is to do a free phone number lookup online. That lookup better allows you to find out the owner of the phone number calling you. If they do not leave a message and hang up after a few rings, that can get rather tiring. Once you have their contact info as in a name, you can then leave them a message not to call you again. When you know who is on the other end of the line, it makes it easier to put an end to things. In the event the calls persist, you may decide to seek some legal action. Yes, this would, of course, be a last resort. That said you may need it should the calls not end or they become harassing and even threatening.
  2. Don’t always give out info – One mistake many consumers make is giving out their personal info all too often. As an example, you are at an event and sign up to receive email, text or regular mail updates. This can be for contests and many other things. By giving out your phone number, you can then be subject to sales calls and more. Your best bet is to not give out the number and only an email or regular mail address. If you do the latter, you preferably have a P.O. Box and do not give out a home address. Once you’ve given out your phone number, you set yourself up for an endless string of calls.
  3. Keep family and friends in the loop – Finally, make sure your family and friends are in the loop. That is you do not want your phone number being passed around over and over again. Some in your inner circle may think it is okay to give out your number for any one of many reasons. Get on the same page with them and tell them it is not okay to do so.

Along with an annoyance, think why others having your number outside those you know is an issue.

If you run your own small business, you could get inundated with phone calls during the day. As such, it can interfere with your ability to get work done.

By being selective with your number and finding who is calling you, lessen the odds of disruptions.

So, if you’ve had it with annoying phone calls, is it time to take action?

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5 INTERESTING INDIAN WEDDING TRADITIONS

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An Indian wedding cannot be defined by just one set of rituals or one vision. Indian wedding traditions and customs are diverse. Every different state has a different set of traditions and culture. The true secularity of India reflects through the various kinds of Indian weddings we observe throughout the years, over generations.

Indian weddings can be simple, humble, and peacefully quiet. They can be a big fat pompous show of colours and riches. If we are to observe the various Indian wedding traditions, it is bound to get confusing. Subtle differences mark one custom from another, while some other traditions are totally different from the rest.

Foreigners take a deep interest in the traditional Indian wedding. But surprisingly enough, some of us Indians ourselves are not aware of the various types of Indian weddings. As the traditions are flexing to accommodate each other, with interstate and inter traditional marriages becoming the norm, we need to know about the various Indian wedding customs that exist.

Some Indian wedding customs have stayed put from ages back while some have been incorporated from Western weddings, only recently. Despite the communal issues that surface due to politics, the Indian people are mostly very curious about different traditions and they like to pick up some customs from each other. This is why the Indian weddings have elaborate rituals that include the archaic traditions that are carried forward from forefather’s unknown, as well as new ones that are appreciated by many because of the thought that goes into them.

Here are some Indian wedding customs that are popular in their own regions and are slowly gaining popularity in other parts of the country.

  1. Bengali Wedding Traditions

Bengalis are progressive and Bengali girls and boys are quite a catch, to generalise of course. But the Bengali wedding traditions are still pretty old ones. They reflect the orthodox marriages of some generations past. For example, there is the ‘shubha drishti’, meaning something like the ‘holy meet’.

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The Bengali bride enters hiding her face with betel leaves. The ‘saat paak’ in Bengali weddings don’t have the bride and groom encircling the agnee but the bride encircling the groom seven times. She has her face hidden through the seven circles. She is carried by four of her closest male family members or friends. At the end of the seven rounds, she steps down and stands in front of the groom, revealing her face so that the bride and the groom’s eyes can meet. This is ‘shubho drishti’.

Although every Bengali bride and groom knows each other before marriage, and most have been friends or in a relationship for quite a while, the tradition has stuck from times when this ‘shubho drishti’ was literally the first time the bride and the groom met each other in person. Strange it is. But this tradition sets the Bengali wedding apart from every other type of Indian wedding. The Bengali bride putting the betel leaves down and slowly looking up is the symbol of a typical Bengali wedding.

  1. Punjabi and Sikh Weddings

Punjabis and Sikhs are the most generous and enthusiastic Indians. Many people consider Punjabis and Sikhs to be the same people because the similar customs they follow and the area they live in. But there are subtle differences between Punjabis and Sikhs. Their traditions are similar, yet not the same. To generalise, they are both impulsive, fun loving, and warm hearted. So you can imagine what a Punjabi or Sikh wedding would be like, full of colours, lots of food, and a lot of dancing with innovative ideas for sangeet ceremony. But let’s take a look into the ceremonies and wedding rituals as well.

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Punjabi wedding rituals begin with the bride’s maternal uncle gifting her the ominous churha. These are red and white bangles that signify the beginning of a wedding and mark the marital status of a woman, as married women wear them after the wedding as well. The Ghara Ghardoli ceremony follows. The bride and the groom are bathed in the holy water at the Gurudwara. All this takes place during the day because the garland exchange and final wedding rituals take place late in the evening.

Punjabi and Sikh weddings are long and stretch into the night. Sikh weddings happen during the day with the ardaas at the Gurudwara. The Punjabi wedding with the mantras and phere itself happens late at night, after the dinner. But there is not a tired soul, not a pair of droopy eyes. The enthusiasm of Punjabis and Sikhs are contagious. If you lack drive in your life, attend a Punjabi or Sikh wedding, or just visit a Sikh family. They are loving, and full of energy. Even if you are the quiet type, their energy is bound to rub off on you.

Some rituals of Punjabi and Sikh weddings are becoming popular in other types of Indian weddings too. Mehendi is already popular and as new event now a days Mehendi party are gracefully organized and has become quite the part of all Indian weddings, even the ones where it wasn’t traditionally a part. Roka, Varmala, Milni, are all originally Punjabi and Sikh wedding rituals.

  1. Gujarati Wedding Traditions

Gujratis are fun loving too. More than anything else, they are extravagant when it comes to any big ceremony. The Gujratis are the only ones whose enthusiasm come any close to that of Punjabis and Sikhs. They have this loud energy for weddings. There is a grandeur in Gujrati weddings because no matter how calculative they are about money in general when it comes to weddings, they splurge like it’s nobody’s business.

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Gujarati weddings are versatile in itself because there are many sub sects with a different set of rituals. Patels have a different set of rituals. The Naagars have some Brahmin rituals. Overall, a Gujarati wedding can be distinguished from other Indian weddings because there are some typical differences. A Gujarati mangal phera comprises just four phere instead of the usual seven in most other Indian wedding traditions. These four phere signify ‘Dharma’, ‘Artha’, ‘Kama’, and ‘Moksha’, the four pillars of a successful marriage according to Gujarati culture and belief. The Jaimaala in a Gujarati wedding is exchanged twice, instead of the usual just one time, or three times.

Some Gujarati weddings have the kanku kanya ritual. The bride is accepted with the vermillion being the only sign of marriage on her. She comes without any dowry, just as she is. This progressive ritual is typical to Naagar Brahmin Gujarati weddings. Gujratis are businesspeople and many marriages have their roots in business partnerships. But when it comes to the bride, she is given utmost importance, over any money or dowry. Or at least, so is the ritual.

  1. Tamil Weddings Traditions

Tamil weddings are the most elaborate. Yes, without a doubt, Tamil wedding rituals are the most elaborate. Some rituals are short while some are long but they are all essential. Even the modern Tamil weddings don’t skip any of the important rituals. They start with Panda Kaal Muhurtham and sumangali poojas to bless the wedding day and the married women at the wedding.

These rituals are followed by pallikai thellichal and naandi shrardham rituals. After all this, comes the engagement or Nichayathartham. A Ganesh pooja is mandatory at the beginning of the engagement. Then comes kumkum, chandan, and garlands, followed by the ring exchange .

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Lagna pathirikai, mangala snaanam, Gauri pooja, Kashi yatra, pada pooja, and Oonjal follow. Then comes kanyadaan, muhurtham, and saptapadi to complete the wedding. The wedding itself is followed by three rituals, sammandhi maryathai, grihapravesh, and valeyadal. Tamil weddings seem to go on forever creating memories and exciting wedding stories. It brings out the seriousness Indian traditions are dealt with even in modern weddings.

  1. Maharashtrian Wedding Traditions

Maharashtrian weddings have elaborate rituals starting with the engagement. It is called ‘shakhar puda’. The bride is given a saree and some sweets as blessings from her new family to be. Kelvan and Haldi ceremonies take place at the bride’s home as well as at the groom’s home.

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On the wedding day, the couple has a barrier of a silk shawl between them and the ‘mangalashtak’ is recited. There are quite a few rituals before tying the knot, one of the rituals being the bride and groom officially asking for their parents’ permission to do so. After this, the phere and the whole wedding process takes place. It all happens during the day.

After the wedding, it is time for Grihapravesh, which is typical to many Indian weddings. But in a Maharashtrian wedding, the bride and groom’s feet are washed with milk before they enter the bride’s new home. Maharashtrian wedding rituals are elaborate but the food and celebrations aren’t ignored. The food and hospitality the guests receive are bountiful.

These are some of the richest Indian wedding traditions as well as the commonest. They are versatile and elaborate, fun and serious. An Indian wedding has it all.

Article Published on Oyorooms

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