TWO SOULS, ONE HEART
JANUARY 29, 2014 by DOROTHY MURPHY
This time of year it seems we are surrounded by romance and love, it is a hugely popular time for engagements and with valentines day just around the corner there are sure to be more popping up. Engagement rings are such a beautiful idea symbolising commitment and love and filled with such hope for the future. We take it for granted that everyone celebrates engagements the same way as us here in Ireland but there are loads of heart warming traditions all over the world ready to be explored.
In most western countries including Ireland the engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. This tradition stems back to a beautiful roman belief that a vein in this finger connects directly to the heart. Interestingly the ring is worn on the opposite hand in North and Eastern Europe, as in Latin the word for left symbolises sinister and the word for right symbolises dexterity so they wear the ring on the hand with positive connotations. In South America both partners wear a ring to show they are engaged, two souls and one heart, a beautiful tradition I think should be more widespread!
In some countries an engagement is celebrated with an altogether different type of jewellery rather than the traditional engagement ring. In West Bengal in India the women are given iron bangles to symbolise the engagement and in Hindu culture the women are given bichiya which are ornate toe rings as engagement rings. Closer to home in Wales an old custom is still practised called spooning, and no this doesn’t refer to cuddling it’s a custom where the man carves a small piece of wood to offer on proposal and the woman wears it on a ribbon around her neck if she accepts. Other parts of the world celebrate in completely different ways for example the Cajun tradition is that the man proposes by putting a small piece of ice on woman’s foot to propose.
All these ways to propose are equally sweet and show how true love can be demonstrated in so many different ways.
What’s your most romantic story?