Thursday, 4 July 2013

Metti - Hindu Toe Ring

The Hindu culture covers every aspect of human life. Some of you would have read about Thaali in my post entitled The Indian confusion - Race, Caste, Clan & Surnames

There is another ornament which is used by married Hindu women and even men. It is a toe ring known as Metti or Minji. The female metti contains beautiful patterns while the male metti is just a ring without patterns.

Metti is worn on the second toe of both feet. It is made of silver. 

As you all know, silver is a very good conductor. Some people choose to wear metti made from gold or other materials. This is actually a very wrong thing to do.

There are nerves in the second toe which connects to our pelvic region. The pelvic region is known to host our reproductive organs. As for the women, this is where the womb is located.

There is a purpose to use silver metti. The constant friction caused by the metti while walking actually helps to revitalize the reproductive system in the human body. 

The active sexual life of couples weakens their reproductive organs. Metti is the remedy :) 

In Hindu culture, youngsters abstain from sexual intercourse until they are married.This is why metti is only used by married couples. It is worn for the first time during the wedding ceremony.

There is a saying in Tamil that men should walk with their heads up and women with the heads down. 

Aan talai nimirnthu nadakanum, pen talai kuninji nadakanum.

The main identity of a married women is her Thaali pendant and kungkumam pottu on the forehead. The main identity of a married man is the metti.

In those days, people of the village walked with their bare feet. This gives an opportunity for the girls to look at the feet of the men. Therefore, they have to keep their heads down so that they do not go after a married man! 

Similarly, a man has to keep his head up to identify the Thaali and kungkumam pottu, so that he does not go after a married woman!

As time went, this was misinterpreted to claim that women are inferior to men. 

Today some men condemn married women by claiming that many are not following the tradition. While there are truth in the claims, we need to realize that we men must first follow our tradition before blaming the women.

Most modern Hindu men throw away their metti a week after their wedding. 

During the wedding ceremony, the macha (brother-in-law) is the person who puts the metti on the bridegroom's feet. This symbolizes that he agrees to give his sister to the bridegroom.

The bridegroom will then put another pair of metti for his bride. Her feet will be placed on the ammi kallu (grinding stone). This is the only time a man touches the feet of his wife in his entire life, except when they do foot massage.

There is actually a little game unknown to many. When the bridegroom puts the metti, the bride is supposed to press her toes hard on the stone, making it difficult for him to put the metti. The bridegroom has to use force to lift the toe and put the metti carefully. 

This act by the bride and the use of grinding stone signifies the chastity of the bride. It signals that the virgin bride has now agreed to be the wife of this man, allowing him to put the metti on her toe.

The use of metti has been misunderstood by many modern day Hindus. We need to realize that our ancestors had reasons for making it part of our culture.


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  2. Wonderful and very nice information about Toe ring . I liked this post very interesting.Thanks for sharing this informative post among us.

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