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Is wearing a bindi cultural appropriation?
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A bindi is a fashion accessory

Bindis are often worn for fashion purposes, and so should be allowed to be worn by anyone.

The Argument

While the bindi originated in India as a religious symbol, it has since evolved into a fashion accessory that is often worn for aesthetic reasons within India and surrounding countries like Pakistan. Bindis can be seen on famous Bollywood stars in films and most Indians could not describe what the original spiritual significance was.[1]If the bindi has evolved from a spiritual symbol into a simple fashion accessory, and is popularly worn as such within the culture it originates from, there is no reason that someone outside of that culture who enjoys it for fashion should be deemed offensive. Bindis are commonly sold around the world, not from religious institutions, but in affordable, colorful packs of self-adhesive gems. They are often viewed as just part of an outfit and nothing more, and some have even suggested that this kind of policing of cultural exchange is leading to a lack of integration and acceptance of differing cultures. [2]

Counter arguments

Just because the bindi is commonly worn for fashion does not strip it of its religious or spiritual significance. The bindi originated in the Hindu religion, and it continues to be utilized in various ceremonies and rites to signify various spiritual meanings, such as symbols of marriage, good luck, and association with various gods.[3] The traditional red bindi is still highly utilized in Hindu marriage ceremonies, though this is not commonly known outside of Indian culture. This is why those who are not members of Indian society or culture should not be wearing the bindi. If those of Indian heritage decide to consciously wear it differently, that is their choice to make. Those who are not familiar with the cultural nuances and significance that it carries should not wear it so flippantly as an accessory that they do not understand.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 29 Nov 2020 at 23:47 UTC