Women organise Grah Pravesh for Puppy. Internet Wonders Why
Most pet owners are of the opinion that their pets aren’t animals, but family members. After all, when they have names they answer to, are scolded when they create mischief, and are loved like sons or daughters, isn’t it only fitting that they’re treated as such? And that is exactly what two women did. A puppy video that has now gone viral shows a couple of women welcoming their new puppy home. But it’s no ordinary welcome. With pomp as dramatic as the Bollywood song playing in the background, the little fur-ball is brought into the house with full Hindu custom.
Here is the viral puppy video:
My new favorite thing is desi families welcoming their new puppies with traditional ceremonies pic.twitter.com/eWVfMhVs26
— little honey dew 🌼🍯 (@WineandHair) September 14, 2020
In what is originally a TikTok video made by user @shreyagid, one of the women can be seen dipping the puppy’s tiny paws into red water, similar to the alta mixture that a new bride dips her feet into to leave her footprints while entering her new home during the grahapravesh ritual. After the confused puppy leaves his pawprints on a white sheet, it is hoisted mid-air, while the other woman does aarti, applies teeka on its furry forehead, showers it with petals, and feeds it prasad. The video then cuts to the new member pottering around the house on all fours.
Video Receives Mixed Reactions From Social Media Users
The internet is a wonderful place for discovering things that are bizarre and sights you never thought you’d see. And videos like these can be billed right at the top of this list. Love manifests in different ways, and this dog’s welcome, some may say, is just another display of the eccentric but endearing affection humans play out for their non-human friends.
The video has managed to elicit a volley of “awws” and hearts from people online. Reacting to it, a woman from Kentucky wrote, “I’ll have to Google what this beautiful ceremony actually means, but this is SO AWESOME.” Sharing a picture of their own dog, one person wrote, “my doggy gets a tikka in Diwali too.”
But amidst the excitement of this virtual dog-parent party, several users criticised the video, pointing out that pets are living beings, not playthings to be fooled around with. A user wrote, “the poor puppy looks petrified. Just give him a bone to chew on for god’s sake!” Other reactions on puppy video were a mixed bag. “Mixed feelings about this. From one point of view, sure, it’s cute. But I think anthropomorphism of pets is … Unnecessary, at best.”
Another section of people too voiced their concerns, but of a different kind. Since the video seems to have been shot somewhere in a foreign country, users have accused the allegedly NRI (non-resident Indian) women of misusing Hindu culture and misappropriating it. “Shameful thing to distort tradition like this,” noted one reaction.
One reaction was that the viral video was promoting casteism, and wrote, “This is, ostensibly harmless and cute but says a lot about how the entire edifice on which Brahmanism is built is a construct, given how this is now a Hindu Upper Caste… Golden Retriever?”
Other Similar Videos
However, this is not the first video of its kind. With the advent of TikTok and Instagram, where life events can accurately be set to music for the production of what seems to be home-made films, videos of pets and their Indian owners including them in family traditions have become increasingly common.
Take for instance this one posted further down the same thread:
My personal favorite: meet Benji pic.twitter.com/7bYEQJTUJm
— 🌬 Tumbapolvo Perez (@stompcitysosa) September 15, 2020
Another user pointed out how Muslim owners often lay out smaller mats for their pet cats during prayer:
Update: there’s a cats on prayer mats Instagram and it’s my new fave page pic.twitter.com/akIi8Jmwk1
— Sian R ✨ (@_Sian_Roberts) September 15, 2020