Q:

Why do Indian women wear a jewel on their foreheads?

A:

Quick Answer

Traditionally, some Indian women of the Hindu faith wear a red jewel or mark called a bindi on their foreheads to indicate they are married. However, in recent years, the bindi has also become a fashion accessory among unmarried women.

  Know More

Full Answer

The bindi is placed on a spot between the eyebrows that, according to Vedic lore, marks the agna chakra, an important site of concealed wisdom and intuition also called the third eye. The bindi is said to draw this power forward and concentrate it. Among married wearers of the bindi, the mark is believed to offer a protective effect to women and their husbands. Indian bridegrooms may also wear a red mark between their eyebrows.

The word "bindi" comes from the Sanskrit "bindu," meaning drop. Bindis were originally painted-on dots of turmeric or zinc oxide powder. In modern times, many are reusable gems or stickers, and not all are red. Some are made of luxury materials such as diamonds, pearls and gold, and shapes other than the simple circle have grown popular as well. According to the New York Times, the glamorous, traditionally dressed women of Indian soap operas have provided much of the impetus for the contemporary use of bindis as a fashion accessory.

Learn more about Cultures & Traditions

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do Indian women pierce their noses?

    A:

    Indian women typically pierce their noses as part of a Hindu religious tradition. Hindu women have their noses pierced around the age of 16, a culturally marriageable age, to honor the goddess of marriage.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • 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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did women wear in the 1950s?

    A:

    In the 1950s, women wore skirts and dresses that emphasized the female figure. Full skirts, as well as pencil skirts, were the fashion. Luxurious or bold patterned fashions were in high demand.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did rich roman women wear?

    A:

    Wealthy Roman women wore long tunics, called stolas, over a second, longer tunic, referred to as the tunica interior. The stola was usually longer than the under tunic, for the purpose of showing off the layers, which was a sign of wealth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore