Q:

Why do Indian women wear dots on their foreheads?

A:

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.

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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