At Coachella, many famous celebrities, like Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner, and Vanessa Hudgens, wore a bindi in the name of fashion. A religious symbol, the bindi is sacred to people of the Hindu culture. This is not something you can just simply wear for likes on Instagram. By doing so, the whole culture behind wearing a bindi has been violently stripped and cast aside as worthless.
The word bindi comes from Sanskrit, an ancient language dating over two thousand years. It means drop, or dot. This primeval cultural symbol was originally made using turmeric, which was ground and mixed with lime-slate to make what is called kumkum. When this kumkum is applied to the forehead, in between the eyebrows, it is known as a bindi.
The Ajna Chakra is considered to be the place of the “third eye”, and the bindi is placed there. That is the central point where all experience is gathered in during total concentration. When kumkum is placed at this spot, it is said that concentration improves and the mind is more in focus. This is the religious and cultural aspect of wearing a bindi.
When bindis are mass produced and manufactured as red stickers, the whole purpose of wearing a bindi is gone, as the sticker doesn’t have the same effect as kumkum in that same spot. It becomes a point of ridicule for Hindus. This sacred symbol is not fashion and should never be used as such
Some activists are already taking action against these arrogant people. These activists are starting a movement known as the #ReclaimTheBindi. Individuals on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and many other social media websites are undertaking the mission of taking back their culture from those people who have stolen and are misusing it.
Wearing a bindi is a completely unacceptable new trend. People used to make fun of Hindus for wearing one of these, and now, all of a sudden, its completely OK to wear one, just because some celebrities are donning them in the desert. This is wrong.
Take them off, and show some respect to the cultures that are older than you could ever imagine.