In Spiti grannies are the backbone of the family. They are wise, they are calm. And have a fund of knowledge. They are teachers of the grandchildren and have time to cherish them with lots of love.
Spiti grannies when they grow too old to work in the fields and help with the household tasks, are not sent off to an old people’s home but honoured and cherished by their family. They will live out their life in their own home which they would have joined when they first married and moved to the husband’s family. Now their elder son and his family will have taken over the running of the family house and all the responsibilities which is handed down from generation to generation.
There could be many grannies in the village, they go together to the village temple in the mornings to pray for a positive death and a good reincarnation in their next life.
Afterwards, they take a gentle stroll round the village chanting the mantra Om Mane Padme Hum” as they go, it like a walking meditation.
During the full moon day each month the grannies get up very early at about 5am and go to the temple and say special prayers for the health and wellbeing of the family. At the same time do prostrations in numbers according to the Tibetan Calendar, this can go on for one to two hours, and its. Really challenging on the knees! After that they sit comfortably and have a cup of tea and quietly meditate.