Saturday, August 27, 2011
I've had a lot of people ask me about the bindi (women) or tilak (men), which is the mark placed between the eyebrows on the foreheads of many Indian people.

I've asked a few people around my apartment complex, and most are telling me it has become a mostly decorative mark. But, they say that for Hindu people, the dot is supposed to mark the location of the sixth chakra, or place of concealed wisdom. But other religions wear them as well.

I was also told that they signify stature in society, but exactly what stature, I wasn't clear on. The mark is not a sign of marital status as I had assumed, but married women do display their status by applying a small amount of red color to the part of their hair on the top of the head.

I'll probably have to chalk this topic up as one of those things you have to be raised around to fully understand, much like trying to explain to my children why it's ok to laugh about farts when Aunt Andy gives you a whoopee cushion, but that we don't talk about things like poop or underwear or farts in public otherwise. (Thanks a lot Andy, I could have happily strangled you when Tim reminded me of your "gift" during one of my lectures.)


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