7 scientific reasons behind odd Tamilian household traditions
If you pause to ponder, several of our daily activities are a mirror for ancient traditions, and nowhere is this more apparent than in a typical Tamilian household.
Most of these rituals are not born of blind faith but science. Ancient wisdom guided these customs which now have the approval of modern and western scientific school of thought as well.
Here are 7 Tamilian household traditions that hold a wealth of scientific wisdom within them.
1. Offering water in silver tumblers to guests – While this is a time honoured way of making guests feel special, scientifically, the silver served a specific purpose. The metal is germicidal and helped prevent any infection that the guests might carry into the home.
2. Getting up before daybreak – Waking up early ensures blood circulation in our body and the mind helping us with positive useful energy. It’s been proven that waking up after sunrise causes blood flow to become sluggish and weakens the immune system.
3. Tying Mango, Neem Leaves to doors on auspicious days
The symbolic meaning of having a plant presence close to the home meant additional oxygen around the house, on days when the entire family would be together. The mango and neem are said to be efficient photosynthesis agents. Additionally, neem is a purifying agent. Having these leaves on the threshold keeps the temperature cool and helps in air circulation.
4. Rangoli / Kolam on the threshold
Every Tamilian household boasts a fresh intricate design of rangoli, called Kolam in Tamil, every morning. This design created out of rice flour serves a dual purpose – it feeds tiny insects and animals as well as birds. It also acts as a deterrent from entering the home looking for food.
5. Neem leaves on door if anyone is down with chicken pox – A bundle of Neem leaves on the front door is an indication to outsiders that someone in the house is suffering from an infectious illness, thus ensuring quarantining. Neem is also an anti-viral and an air purifier, so the leaves help to heal as well. While they may no longer use the symbolic Neem leaf on the front door, Tamilians continue to use the beneficial qualities of the plant through soaps like Hamam, which have all the pure goodness of Neem distilled into it.
6. Bathing early, bathing every day – This custom might irritate Gen Z but there’s logic behind it too. Studies have proved that water enhances electro-magnetic activity. Hence, washing up before having food, entering temples or starting the day are not just an act of cleanliness, but help in boosting the human body’s immune system as well.
7. Eating off banana leaves – It may be slowly coming back into fashion, but Tamilian households that still have their meals off banana leaves know there’s a reason to it. Not only are they large and waterproof, the leaves are rich in anti-oxidants called polyphenols which are supposed to prevent cancer and a number of lifestyle diseases.
Did we also say they are eco-friendly?