Within the Sindhi community, ‘Chetti Chand’ marks the celebration of the Sindhi New Year. On this auspicious day, it is customary for my friend’s family to wear white attire and practice vegetarianism, abstaining from meat for the entire 24-hour period.


During a conversation, my friend reflected on the annual tradition his family observes during ‘Chetti Chand.’ For the past decade, his family has enforced a strict ban on consuming chicken, urging him to avoid social outings and to dine at home instead. He recounted a memorable clash with his parents, sparked by their insistence on him wearing white clothing in adherence to the New Year’s customs, indicative of the tension that can arise when personal desires encounter cultural expectations.


The observance of ‘Chetti Chand’ in my friend’s Sindhi family is a vibrant example of religious folklore that intertwines personal purity with cultural renewal. Wearing white symbolizes a state of cleanliness and new beginnings, akin to the fresh start promised by a new year. The abstention from meat is a practice deeply rooted in many cultural traditions as a form of purification, reflecting Valdimar Tr. Hafstein’s notion of collective tradition. Here, the family unit serves as the custodian of cultural heritage, with practices such as these ensuring the transmission of values across generations. The resistance my friend exhibited towards changing into white attire speaks to the friction that can arise when modern individualistic tendencies meet the collective expectations of tradition. This tension is representative of the broader dialogue between contemporary personal identities and longstanding cultural practices. The familial insistence on observance points to the depth of cultural identity within the Sindhi community, and the importance of such rituals in reinforcing the communal fabric. The ritual here is not merely an act of refraining from certain foods or adopting a dress code but a reaffirmation of identity and belonging, symbolizing unity and continuity within the community, and illustrating the cultural significance embedded in seemingly simple acts.