Many Indians in Singapore celebrate their daughters' coming of age. The ritual is called Chamathi Chadanja. It is usually carried out at the time of the girl's menses and originates in Sri Lanka. It is carried out on an odd number date, example the seventh, ninth or eleventh of the month.
The girl wears a new sari with no black colour in it, black being the colour associated with evil. She is brought to sit among her relatives. Three women who are happily married with children attend her. Their presence promises a similar happy life for the girl. One of them if possible is the wife of the girl's mother's brother, whose son was often her ideal marriage partner.
Twigs, mud and leaves are place at the girl's feet to symbolize the impurities which will be washed away during the ritual. The girl's mother's brother holds a pail of milk (symbol of purity) containing coins (symbol of wealth) and grass (symbol of fertility). He splashes a little of it over her. The three attendants and some others, adding up to an odd number, do the same. The uncle then breaks open an coconut. If it breaks with no jagged edges, it foretells a happy marriage.
An odd number of married women, usually nine or eleven, carry trays to the three attendants. They contain many symbolic items such as a bamboo container of padi (unhusked rice) filled to overflowing which assures her of a long and plentiful life; a sharp knife standing upright in the padi symbolizing protection against evil (a girl is thought to be in a special state of spiritual danger from evil spirits at this time); and a lighted lamp to symbolize gaiety, brightness, and cheerfulness in her personality.
The trays are passed from one woman to another around the girl starting at her right side and travelling over her right shoulder. Finally the girl is given a container holding a whole coconut with some husk still covering the shell. It sits on some mango leaves and has a red dot painted in its center to ward off the evil eye. She gives this to her mother's brother and his wife as a form of thanks