Recently I read about the idea of birth-trees. No , I am not talking, about the tree which matches your star sign. I say that because, you google for “birth-tree” and top 10 hits are about how to find your birth-tree. The birth tree I am talking about is an interesting concept in many communities, where in, they plant a tree when a baby is born. I read about two very different philosophies behind the same act [Ritual, if you want to term it that way].
Some communities in Kashmir have a practice of planting a tree in the name of the new born baby. Since birch is the most common variety in Kashmir, its usually a birch tree. The idea behind the tree planting, is to nurture the tree along with the baby. The children too are imbibed with a sense of ownership for that tree, thereby making them take care of it. This tree is considered as a financial investment, and when the child grows up, it can be sold and the money can be used in setting up of the person.
Few parsi communities too have a practice of planting a tree for the new born baby. The parents take atmost care of the tree. They believe that the soul of the baby stays with the tree. Even when the children grow up and have to physically move, parents still have a feeling that their children are still close to them in spirits.
One practice is financial and practical, where as the other tends more towards the spiritual sides. I liked both the ideas; firstly it results in people planting the tree. Secondly and most importantly, it makes people think trees are our future just like our kids.