Touching Feet Tradition !

why touch the feet of elders, Do you agree to touch elders feet, touching the feet a tradition , INdian culture's disadvantages

In India we have a  tradition of touching the feet of elders when we greet them ( like you would hug people when you meet or shake hands in other countries) to show our respect. Few days back I read an article where an Indian author made fun of modern Indian youths who reluctantly touch the knees or just bend and immediately rise up without actually touching their hand to the elder's feet. The authors  point was it is a tradition and we should follow it properly as it was by our older generations.

I personally don't like touching the feet tradition. I was never asked to touch anyone's feet unless I wanted to. So yes there are people whose feet I touch whole heartedly not because I am supposed too but because I want to. If I love and respect the individual its a natural way of expressing my feelings at specific times(not every single day). But if someone asks to me to touch the feet of a complete stranger just because he is dressed in saffron clothes(Indian priests), I won't. There are a few teachers who taught me important lessons of life, whose feet I touch whole heartedly even though they are just few years older than I am. My uncles have never encouraged this ritual and I appreciate them for not expecting it even during public events. My mother who is 49 years young, says "I never except young people to touch my feet, if they love me and respect me it will show in their words and actions they don't simply have to touch my feet because they are supposed to". So when ever some one approaches to touch her feet she quickly raises them and ask them not to do it.

Just because we question certain rituals doesn't mean we are Non followers of Indian Traditions. Its an individual choice to question and reason out his/her actions. What you say ??

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  1. Interesting tradition!!!
    Happy friday!!!
    Kisses, love Paola.


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  2. I can see your tradition well preserved and respected in Hindi Movies..

  3. Ultimately the Indian tradition is this - to each his/her own, as long as nobody imposes upon the other to do the same thing as he/she does :) So what you are doing is good for you. Keep it up! I appreciate your mother's way of thinking. Very wise.

  4. Agree, Ananya. I would touch someone's feet only if I feel to out of respect, like I do to some of my teachers. I do not believe in being forced. As you said, it's a matter of personal belief and correctly pointed out by Beloo, as well:)

  5. nice post

    new post in

  6. That is so interesting. I knew that this tradition existed but nothing else. Thanks for bringing a few details forward :) And I can totally put myself in your position- you're obviously going to show respect towards people you like and admire. xx Maja

  7. Its one's choice whether to touch feet or not. At the end of the day its more about whether you feel the respect inside. I feel very funny when after marriage v r signalled to touch feet of relatives we don't even know...just to showcase that we are sanskaari daughter in laws!

    1. hmm....correct. Paying respect to someone - well there are other gestures as well apart of touching feet, like Namaste, hand shake, or simple Hi. In Mahabharat, just few minutes before the war started, Yudhistir came down from his chariot and went to Bhishma and Dronacharya and said Namaste to them. Upon seeing this gesture, both Bhisma and Drona greeted them with "Vijayi Bhava" Ashirvaad. Duryodhana was seeing all this and he angrily asked Bhisma why he gave Yudhishtir "Vijayi Bhava" Aashirvaad. Then Bhisma replied - "if in this position of Namaste (or greeting), if Yudhistir goes to your uncle Shakuni, even he will be forced to give "Vijayi Bhava" aashirvaad. This is because "Pranaam ka parinaam to Ashirvaad hi hota hai".

      It is up to you how you want to greet others. The main thing is "the feeling to pay respect - should come from inside" - and for others, we should not be judgmental and should not form opinion.

  8. Nice post. I buy your point, it should not be forced. At the same time I advocate, to tell our kids about our tradition/culture (at least to the one which we believe) - but don't force them. When they grow, they use their wisdom to decide which tradition to follow and which one not, which one to support and which one to condemn. Freedom in all matters. To advance oneself towards freedom - physical, mental, and spiritual and help others to do so, is the supreme prize of man.

    One should raise the self by the self. Let each one work out one's own salvation.

  9. Ananya, first I like the way you mentioned 49 years young.
    Coming to the tradition if one does it , it need to be done completely. I agree with Vishal, that teaching to kids tradition is our take, if they wish they can continue.

  10. I came across this tradition only when I came to Delhi. In the North-east where I worked for over 15 years and in Kerala where I was born and brought up, people don't follow this tradition. Now when students touch my feet on certain occasions I feel terribly embarrassed.

  11. Can't generalize. Because I love this tradition, I do touch feet of my elderly relatives. But beyond a circle, no, like Tomichan mentioned, not the feet of my teachers :) You need not hesitate to not follow. Traditions mean so only when they are loved and followed. Good attempt.

  12. A post worth promoting. And what a wise mum. I've seen people follow this tradition, many, half-heartedly, but convey disrespect in other ways. Respect is something that comes from deep within and there are many ways to show it. To each his own.

  13. I agree to what you and mom says.
    It is a sign of respect for the maturity, age and the wisdom they have.
    I bow my head only and only in front of people whom I respect from the heart and never because I have been told or forced to do that.

  14. I support our Indian customs.
    I also agree with your views.
    We must show respect by deeds & words.
    What's the point if people are "fake" & "act" & show off by touching feet, while doing wrong things that too against the interests of the "elders"! Happens often!

  15. Nice write-up Ananya..Agree with your views on this tradition :)

  16. I've seen this tradition in Indian soaps and don't know much about it but I totally agree that when you have respect and love it is shown but words and true beautiful actions of the heart ! I myself indulge in hugging when it comes to showing how much I adore a person :) Well written post Ananya!

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  18. Nice Post

    Would you like to follow each other on GFC, G+, FB and Instagram?

  19. I haven't heard about this tradition, so thanks for sharing this :) Would you like to follow each other, dear?

  20. Fully agree. So good to see someone daring to write on this. Keep it up!

  21. people should touch their elder brothers and sisters feet too ?