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Lilly Singh Raksha Bandhan

Lilly Singh's Thoughts on Sexism in Traditions Will Make You Stop and Think

On Sunday Lilly Singh, a Canadian YoutTuber, comedian, and all-round cool gal took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the Indian tradition of Raksha Bandhan. The annual tradition affirms protection and affection between brothers and sisters. During this practice, the sister ties a sacred decorative string (Rakhri) around her brother's wrist. Singh explains, "the general idea is to ward off evil eye from your brother and the brother is supposed to promise to protect his sister."

She then goes on to say how after years of the ritual, she never even questioned it, but now recognises that "girls shouldn't be raised to believe that brothers should protect and sisters require protection". Lilly explains how her experiences have opened her eyes to this old-fashioned tradition. "Having travelled the world and met so many people, abroad and right next door, who are negatively impacted by sexism in really severe ways, I now do critically think about these matters." This ritual that aims to bring siblings together emphasises the stereotype that women require protecting, which means in some cultures, daughters are seen as a burden on the family.

The Instagram photo showed Singh and her brother both wearing Rakhri, with Singh writing, "today I got my first ever Rakhri tied on me by my baby bro and I'm overjoyed." She explained that she believes girls "should be taught that they are equal and should both make a promise to each other."

Lilly's fans and community showed its gratitude to Singh for sharing her thoughts and speaking up, with others saying they practice the same tradition and also never critically thought about it in this way. One commenter said, "it's about time old thoughts & ways that no longer fit today's progressing world go away, to continue bettering humanity!" Another said, "wow I didn't even think of this tradition in that way. So glad that you have such a different perspective and can help us all to empower ourselves and future women and girls!"

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