Q:

Why do Indian women wear dots on their foreheads?

A:

Quick Answer

Many Indian women in the Hindu religion wear a dot on their forehead as a religious symbol representing the mystical "third eye" through which spiritual vision is perceived. Hindu men may also wear the dot, often called a bindi, as a reminder of their faith.

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Full Answer

The mark known as a bindi or Tilak has is used for several reasons by many Hindu Indian women. For some, it is purely a cosmetic mark. For others, it is a traditional way to remind oneself to look inward to find spiritual knowledge and peace. The mark is placed on the chakra, or energy point, associated with spiritualism and knowledge. Some who wear the mark interpret its use as a statement of respect for knowledge as well as faith. Some married women consider the mark a symbol of good fortune and protection for themselves and their husbands, and at one time the symbol was primarily worn by married women. In many parts of India as of 2014, the symbol is worn by both single girls and married women.

Men wear the mark for special religious occasions or for marriage ceremonies. It is also worn by monks as a sign of their devotion to their faith. In recent years, it has also become a fashionable accessory for women who are not members of the Hindu faith.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do Indians have dots on their foreheads?

    A:

    The dot in the middle of an Indian's forehead is called a bindi and is worn by both men and women as a symbol of their religion, social cast and marital status. In most Indian cultures, a married person wears a red bindi. Other names for the dot are tilak, tika, pottue, sindoor, tilakam and kumkum.

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  • Q:

    What do Indian men wear?

    A:

    According to Asian Info, many Indian men across all regions in India wear conventional Western clothing, such as shirts and trousers. However, most village men still wear traditional clothes like dhotis, lungis, kurtas and pyjamas. Men's Indian clothing varies in styles, textures, colors and garments and is greatly influenced by different cultures and religions.

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  • Q:

    Why do some cultures wear a red dot on their forehead?

    A:

    There are numerous reasons why individuals wear a bindi, and some of these reasons include helping the individual strengthen their concentration, enhance their beauty, reveal their marital status and retain energy. Spiritually, in Hindu culture, the bindi is in place to remind a person of life's purpose, or the eventual achievement of self realization.

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  • Q:

    What do Afghan women wear?

    A:

    Afghan women wear a variety of clothing styles, though nearly all wear a hijab, or headscarf, and dress conservatively in clothing that is not form-fitting or flesh-baring. Many Afghan women still wear the burqa, a loose-fitting head-to-toe garment once required under Taliban law. Nearly all Afghan women wear modest garments that do not show or draw attention to their figures.

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