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Is wearing a bindi cultural appropriation?
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Bindis hold special cultural and spiritual signifiance

Bindis should not be worn by people who are not members of the culture that it originates from.
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The Argument

Bindis are originally a spiritual symbol in Hinduism that reflect several aspects of the religion for the wearer, including luck, connection to various gods, and also as a symbol to reflect someone's marital status. [1]Those outside of Indian culture do not understand the significance that it carries, and so should not wear them outside of appropriate times, such as attending an Indian celebration or wedding. Whether a bindi is worn traditionally or for fashion is up to those within the culture to do at their discretion. It is also problematic because many Indian-Americans receive ridicule for wearing bindis in public, while non-Indians are viewed as trendy for wearing them. This hypocrisy is at the very heart of cultural appropriation. [2] If those whose culture originated the bindi cannot comfortably wear them out in public without facing ridicule, they should not be worn by those outside of the culture as a matter of respect.

Counter arguments

Most Indians and South Asians completely ignore the spiritual significance of the bindi in modern society. This argument also suggests that it is only Hindus who wear the bindi, when in fact many Muslim and non-Hindu women in India and Pakistan wear the bindi regularly for their own reasons, fashion included.[3] If a non-Catholic wears a rosary for fashion, it may be frowned upon by a Catholic, but they would not be publically shamed for it and they would not be accused of cultural appropriation. No one is required to respect anyone's religious or spiritual symbols as a rule, and if that symbol is worn for fashion within the community it originates from, there is no logical reason that others can't also.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Nov 2020 at 00:04 UTC