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Sindoor – Accident Or Custom

Sindoor Vibhu PrasadSindoor is a symbol of fertility in India. Sindoor is a hindi translation of Vermilion. In India, married women apply Sindoor on the forehead or the hair parting as a symbol of marital bond.

Photo of Sindhoordana by Vibhu Prasad /CC BY 2.0

Sindoor Khela

Sindoor has great traditions throughout India. In West Bengal which is in the Eastern part of India, “Sindoor Khela” or the “game of Sindoor” holds special significance. The last day of Durga Puja festival in WestBengal is marked with sprinkling or smearing of Sindoor among Bengali women.

Bengali women also smear vermilion on the feet of the goddess as a mark of respect and as a prayer for marital wellbeing.


Featured Photo for the post is of “Photo D-4872L” by public.resource.org /CC BY 2.0 

Sindoor – Accident Or Custom

“GC Prasad talks about his experience with “Sindoor” or “Vermillion” while he was in America with his wife – a hilarious account”

India is the only country in the world where married woman put sindoor/ vermillion on their forehead. It is red in colour and ladies put on the forehead as a sign of marriage and love of her husband.

But this has strange effects when one is abroad. A few years ago when I was in USA waiting for a doctor’s appointment with my wife, an American woman approached my wife. She was aghast feeling” blood “was coming out and she must have had a terrible accident. She further told the doctor’s secretary that my wife should get preference to see the doctor first. Me and my wife had a hearty laugh. We explained to her that it was no accident but an Indian custom of putting a sindoor/ vermillion.

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We became friends after this incident and met regularly and exchanged views on different cultures and traits.

I didn’t tell her the sad part about woman stopping to put sindoor on her husband’s demise as a tradition in India. A widow in India don’t wear bangles or put the round bindi on the forehead.

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