N = Noa

Noa, or a bangle made of iron and gold, maybe considered the Bengali equivalent of the mangalsutra or the wedding ring. All married women are expected to wear this apart from the traditional white (shaka made of conch shells) and red (pola made of red coral) bangles. Seven married women slip these bangles on the bride’s hands on the morning of the wedding in an elaborate ceremony. Usually simple shaka pola are worn while gold work shaka pola are also available.

On the other hand (rather, for the left hand), the noa is gifted by the groom to his new bride upon her arrival at his home. In case the family is too poor to afford a gold bangle, the groom gifts an iron bangle to his bride. The noa is supposed to protect the bride from the evil eye and evil spirits. Like the mangalsutra, there are several exotic designs of the noa, with varying amounts of gold.

Most Bengali married women of today tend to forgo all symbols of the wedded status (yours truly included), yet they do continue to wear the noa. This is possibly because the noa looks like any other bangle and is available in several tempting unique and attractive designs!

Quote of the day: “Jewelry takes people’s minds off your wrinkles”― Sarah Phillips

So what do you think?

Wish you all a very happy and enjoyable weekend – will be back on Monday 🙂

PS: Interestingly, the word bangle originated from the Hindi word bangli or glass ring armlet and entered the English language between 1780-90.

PPS: For glimpses of exotic traditional Indian jewelry check out this site.

Edit: Just in case anybody is interested in knowing more about Bengali jewelry, please check out this site