In a country like India which has a distinct identity on the global map for its ‘unity in diversity’ theme, one of the symbolic factors that consolidates this unity is the traditional Indian sweets name also known as mithai. Known as Mishti, Inippu, Pootharekulu, and various other names in different Indian states, the Indian sweets name have transcended the boundaries of their state of origin and have become a medium for exchanging emotions, joy, and also the sweetest objects for initiating conversations with a complete stranger. The Indian sweets name not only completes all kinds of family occasions or social gatherings but also symbolises blessings and thoughtfulness. You won’t find a single Indian family going to visit their relatives or friends without carrying a box of Indian sweets name with them nor would you find any Indian household where the guests are not greeted with a plate full of Indian sweet delicacies.
Every Indian sweet has got a very significant cultural and religious value to it besides the immeasurable sweetness that they promise to fill in the lives of every individual who tastes them. These are some sweets name:
Be it at a birthday celebration, a housewarming ceremony, or just a happy occasion, kheer is a must-have dessert in every Indian household. It is not just a sweet dish, but is believed to be a symbol of happiness, warmth, and auspiciousness. There are different provincial versions of this sweet delicacy. In South India, it is known as ‘Payasam,’ and is a requisite item in every festivity or celebration. In West Bengal, kheer is referred to as ‘Paayesh,’ which is a traditional rice pudding with lots of dried fruit, jaggery, or sugar added to it. It is also a vital part of the ‘Bhog’ offered to the gods and goddesses. During the festival of Makar Sankranti as well kheer is prepared to celebrate the harvest festival. Apart from these cultural connotations attached to the traditional Indian pudding, kheer is known to have a lot of religious symbolism as well. In Hindu mythology, kheer is believed to be a very favourite dish of Lord Shiva.
This particular dessert comes in multiple versions starting from Besan laddoo, Til laddoo, Motichoor laddoo, Boondi laddoo, and many more. Easy to prepare with a variety of ingredients, laddoos are an inseparable part of the Indian traditional sweet platter. The origin of these round and colourful sweets name can be traced back to 4th century BC, when the distinguished surgeon Susruta made a mixture of sesame seeds, honey, and jaggery into the shape of a ball and offered it to all his patients as an antiseptic. It is also believed to be the go-to sweet offered to the guests and their relatives during any kind of propitious occasion or ceremony. As the Indians celebrate numerous festivals every year all of which have their own fervour and colours, one common factor in all these celebrations is the laddoos! As far as its religious symbolism is concerned, Laddoos are one of the top favourite sweets name of our very own Lord Ganesha.
Amongst the significant festivals of India like Diwali and Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great splendour and joy in Maharashtra and several other parts of India. Modaks are synonymous with this festival as Lord Ganesha is known to be extremely fond of these sweets. As far as the religious theory behind Modaks goes, Ganesha had once consumed a Modak to alleviate his hunger and he burped. Even Lord Shiva has supposedly burped multiple times after consuming these sweets name which makes it very clear that Modaks are known to subside hunger without failure! Nevertheless, the very name of this sweet symbolises spiritual knowledge and is the reason why Lord Ganesha is also known as ‘Modaka Priya.’
The magic of traditional Indian sweets name is such that they cannot be contained within the boundaries of a particular state or a community and it is bound to spill over and appear in different avatars in different places. Halwa is one such Indian sweet dish, which is an endearing delicacy to different communities during their respective festivals. Halwa is such a dessert that is a mandatory item on the menus of festivals like Diwali, Navratri, and Eid. Have you ever tasted the yummy halwa offered at the gurudwara as the prasad? Well, if you haven’t it’s high time you let your taste buds experience the bliss. The aroma of ghee and the buttery texture will leave you craving for more. Its religious significance further extends in Islam as well where semolina Halwa is served during the Ramadan season as well as when someone sets off for or returns from their annual pilgrimage or hajj.
Every Indian sweet has its own religious and cultural symbolism as they are primarily believed to be the harbinger of good fortune. Exchanging sweets and eating them is believed to be an essential part of every Indian celebration as it is believed to be the bringer of prosperity and glory. Traditional Indian sweets are integral to Indian hospitality as it is thought to abolish all animosity between people and reinforce the bond between relatives and friends. Most importantly, Indians believe that the biggest symbolism of traditional Indian sweets is their Indianness and dedication to making people happy and bringing everyone close together on the auspicious eve of festivals and grand celebrations.