Why Do We Touch Elders’ Feet at Indian Weddings?

Have you ever wondered why we touch elders’ feet at Indian weddings? In the Hindu, Jain, and Sikh religions the custom of touching elders’ feet is observed. It’s an ancient tradition; and like many Indian traditions it is a sign of respect towards one’s elders.

{A Sign of Humility}

Bending down to touch the feet of the elders is a sign of humility by letting go of one’s ego. The elders in turn feel compassion (karuna) towards them and shower them with blessings for a happy and long life.

More scientifically it is said that the human body which is a storehouse of energy transfers positive energy through the simple touch.

It is believed that the person touching his/her elders’ feet will acquire strength, knowledge, intellect, and fame as they are surrendering their ego to their elders who have walked the Earth longer than they have, and are thus wiser. And elders teach snd share their wisdom with the younger generations.

Usually the elder will gently touch the person’s back or head creating another energy circuit through which positive energy is transferred.

karishma album images (81 of 1197)
PC: Aaroneye Photography

{How To Touch Elders’ Feet}

This is the topic of many melodramas in popular Hindi soap operas. The angry mother-in-law slighted by the new bride who didn’t fully bend down to touch her feet; just a partial bend. I’m not sure if that happens in real life, but if you’re not sure then talk openly about it, with your fiancé or your parents.

{Take Aways}

This is a brief article for anyone who’s ever wondered why we touch elders’ feet at Indian weddings. Indian culture is full of ancient traditions and beliefs that have passed down over centuries. We created this #TraditionTuesday series because we think it’s important to document these traditions as well as share the reasoning behind them.


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Cover image: Aaroneye Photography

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