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Raksha Bandhan

And breaking down barriers

The festival of Raksha Bandhan honours the special bond between siblings. On this day, sisters tie a rakhi (thread) around their brothers’ wrists, binding them to each other with love. Raksha Bandhan literally means ‘the knot of protection’.

This is a simple gesture with much significance. In 1905, the great Rabindranath Tagore used it to unite the people of Bengal when the British sought to divide Hindus and Muslims for political ends.

In a show of solidarity, the people of Bengal took to the streets and tied rakhis on one another. The statement was clear: Do not divide us. We are all brothers and sisters here. We stand up for each other.

We believe that it is as important to come together today as it was back then. So, for the past few years at Raksha Bandhan, we have revived Rabindranath-ji’s tradition by inviting our guests and team to tie rakhis on someone of a different faith, nationality or culture, as a knot of protection. And for every rakhi tied, we’ve donated £1 to Seeds of Peace, an amazing charity that helps teenagers from conflict regions to learn the skills of making peace.

Last year, you tied almost 8,000 rakhis.

This year Raksha Bandhan falls on Sunday 26th August, and, from 26th August–28th August, we will once again gift you rakhis in all our cafés.

Tagore used white rakhis to bring people together. We invite you to tie them on someone of a different faith, nationality or culture, as a knot of protection.

We hope you will join us in this humble act of brother and sisterhood.

For every rakhi that you tie, we’ll donate £1 to Seeds of Peace, a peace-making charity that helps teenagers from conflict regions to learn the skills of making peace.

Through their inspirational work, the next generation of young leaders from areas such as Palestine and Israel learn how to tackle the issues that fuel oppression, hatred and violence between their communities.

Seeds of Peace bring these young people together in leadership camps to share their experiences of the conflict, so they learn to see each other as humans. They arrive expecting to meet the enemy, and leave with deep new friendships, which can literally bring peace.

If you too would like to make a donation or learn more about their fantastic work, please visit www.seedsofpeace.org

Do read our blog post reflecting on Raksha Bandhan. And we look forward to seeing you over these days in our cafés.

Happy Raksha Bandhan!

PS. We will also have some mithai for you all to enjoy on the day of Raksha Bandhan!