Where are Your Bangles & Bindis? 116

I’m forgetful, and sometimes I’m a mess. I don’t spend hours in front of the mirror before I leave the house, most days I don’t wear make up. Often my chunni doesn’t match what I’m wearing. I am no fashionista. I am however an ‘Indian’ wife now, and it’s become clear that this shouldn’t be the case. Some things which are regarded as “fashion accessories” in the West, are in fact important marriage symbols in India.

A traditional Hindu wife should be embellished and adorned from head to toe, showing off her marital status, she should look like Goddess Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth) around the clock. I already committed the greatest faux pas by wearing hardly any jewellery on my wedding day, there was lot’s of gossip and I was called “plain” (which wasn’t too pleasant, but, I’m over it). The traditional Indian wife can be found daily wearing a saree, her mangalsutra (a necklace which acts as a wedding ring), sindoor, earrings, a nose ring, silver toe rings, bangles, silver anklets with bells on (so people can keep track of her around the house) and a red bindi.

Without fail, you’ll find me wearing my mangalsutra (because I never take it off), my silver anklets with bells on (another item I never take off, because I can’t, they are practically welded to me) and my sindoor (because it’s my favourite tradition and I wouldn’t be found without it). The other marital symbols can be forgotten and if someone from the older generation sees me without a bindi or bangles, they will ask why and try and rectify the situation.

Several aunties have come at me with a bindi from their purse, their emergency bindi stash which every Hindu woman seems to have. Several months ago I popped downstairs to the nearby restaurant to buy some samosa, as I waited for them to be packaged, a priest appeared with a small pot of scarlet vermillion and a stick, without saying a word, he poked me with the stick, right between the eyes. Apparently horrified that a married woman wasn’t wearing a bindi.

My grandmother-in-law gets upset if she sees me inauspiciously bangless, and always asks why I’m not wearing earrings. When she found found out that my husband was going to marry a ‘foreigner’, the first thing she said was, “but what if she won’t wear a bindi?”. I love wearing jewellery and I think that the symbolism of the bindi is beautiful, but I’m forgetful. It’s interesting how uncomfortable people can get if I am forgetful, it shows how important these things, which would be considered ‘just fashion accessories’ in the West, are in Hindu culture.

I think about the women who cannot afford bangles and silver anklets and how they may be perceived by the community because of that, should such importance be given to appearance and things that sparkle?

Looking much better during my first Mahalakshmi festival


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About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.

116 thoughts on “Where are Your Bangles & Bindis?

  • kreacherspeaks

    There is no woman who can’t afford these trinkets 🙂 If you noticed, the beggar ladies on the street, the vendors, even the ladies who come to clean the house will be adorned. You can put your foot down and say no whenever there is one of these you don’t want to wear. Don’t worry. It might come as a shock initially but like all other shocks, this one will wear off too 🙂

    As for the panditji, he applied the vermilion because it is considered auspicious, not because you weren’t wearing a bindi. He would have applied it to a dozen people along his way, don’t worry about it!

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Kreacherspeaks,

      I am thinking of those women who wear a single glass bangle and that’s all. Our maids are always more sparkly than me, you are right about that lol. I just think it can be a way to put people down, and I know that many people judged me on my lack of jewelry.

      The pandit event was really odd because there were lots of people but it was just me he came to, my husband said it was because I wasn’t wearing a bindi and some people get offended (because I was wearing my mangalsutra and sindoor).

      I hope you are well!! xx

      • kreacherspeaks

        Even I don’t wear much jewellry and my MIL does ask me to wear it but I tell her that it looks odd being so ‘decorated’ when I’m at work or in western wear 🙂 Just hang in there, some things take time. Wear what you can and just politely decline to wear what you don’t like. Don’t become a pushover or a bully and as a person actually facing the situation, you know the best way.

        Indian culture can get a little stuffy sometimes but nothing is perfect right? 🙂

  • gracebuchele

    Oh my goodness – I can’t imagine putting that on every day. Ryosuke likes to make fun of me because when I’m working, I just stay in my PJs all day. Yesterday I picked him up from the station in his Captain America sweatpants and a hoodie.

    Women in Tokyo are very fashion-forward – so if I’m actually going into the city, I will go all-out… but most days, it just seems like it’s not worth the effort.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Grace :D,

      I really do love PJ days, but it’s difficult when you live with your in-laws. I like that phrase “today was a total waste of make-up”, I guess it’s like that if it’s just a normal day, that’s how I feel anyway.

      I hope you guys are well! 😀 xx

  • Mani (A New Life Wandering)

    Are the anklets really to keep track of her? That is quite a lot to remember. I used to have a couple gold bangles that I never took off and became quite comfortable. Not sure what happened to them.
    Also, one time when I was in rural India, I was “talking” with some women (we didn’t speak each other’s languages) but somehow they got I was married and they pointed at my neck in question. Then I realized they were asking about the mangalsutra, so I pointed at my wedding ring.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Mani,

      I was told a couple times that in the olden days it was so that when a woman is alone in a room, a man could hear that she was an be respectful and not come in. Anyway you can hear me coming from a mile away, jiggling lol.

      I hope you are well 😀 xx

      • Jacqueline Maharaj.

        I still wear my Mungal Sutra to this day.Actually it’s sort of part of me. Bangles, earrings yes! That is after being married many years. People walk up to me in Malls etc, especially in Canada and ask are you married to an Indian? I only wear Saris to events but Shalwar tops go great with jeans.

      • Praveen

        The sound of anklets as the lady walks makes a sweet sound which is soothing to the ears and gives you relief.

      • Praveen

        Hey Lauren.. Do u wear toe rings and anklets even today from the day you got married? What has been your experience about the feet jewelry?

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Hanna,

      I was told a couple times that in the olden days it was so that when a woman is alone in a room, a man could hear that she was an be respectful and not come in and things like that. You can always hear where I am because mine are really loud!!

      I hope you are well xx

    • Alex

      Sometimes parents will have young children or infants will wear anklets to keep track of them. This is not unique to India although it may have originated in india or probably southeast asia. Many celebs have gotten gifts of suck anklets, they often just have one or two bells, but are often made of sterling silver. It seems to popular among hollywood celebs both in American and the UK.

    • Praveen

      Hanna. Anklets adore ladies feet and it is not to keep track, but to just signal that the new bride is coming. Once months pass the ladies will remove the trinkets from the anklets.

    • Praveen

      No Hanna. In fact all people around you will like the sound of the bells as it is sweet music to the ears.

  • My Masala Life

    Thats alot of stuff to remember. My husbands culture does not have any of those things. Some Sikhs wear the bindis but its not as important, nor do we have the necklace, the only braclet thats required is sikh kirta but many wear bangles as well. I am laughing so much about the guy poking you between the eyes lol! I think all your marriage articles are beautiful.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Tina,

      Thanks a lot :D! It is a lot to remember, especially if you haven’t grown up around it. I guess it’s okay to keep the ones I like/am comfortable with and leave the rest. I always try and make an extra effort when I know I’m seeing Grandma though, I don’t want to upset her!

      Lots of love xx

  • cynthia haller

    I really can’t be bothered with these things LOL, I wear Sindoor only when wearing a traditional Indian attire at a function when relatives are around, we don’t do Mangal Sutra in DH’s family, and I hurt myself with glass bangles, they aren’t too practical with a small child around so I haven’t worn them in years, when I do wear bangles, they are the sturdy metallic type. I don’t do bindi, or toe rings either. the only thing I wear is a ring on my ring finger when I remember to put it on (my fingers swell too easily).

    My husband doesn’t care either and we live far away from anybody who could mind the lack of marriage symbols. I don’t like advertising my status, especially my marital one 🙂

  • Ksenia Kletkina

    My MIL doesn’t wear mangalsutra, bangles, bindi and sindoor at all! So I don’t wear any of these too. I wore my last salvar kameez 10 years back when I was pregnant with my first kid and never wear it since then…

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Ksenia!

      Such a modern family then, I guess it’s easier in places like Delhi. Nagpur has a bit of a village mentality sometimes!

      I hope you are all well! xx

    • Amanda McMahon

      I am in a same lucky situation. My MIL doesnt eve wear earings anymore. Usually a small red velvet.bhindi. no bangles and her magnalsutra if she has it on is hidden. No toe rings either… my SIL wears a bindi sometimes for work purposes (status needs it as a lawyer perhaps)… so i am good. Because marrying an Indian doesnt make me Indian. i will wear indian clothes for functions and don a dupatta and my Magnalsutra but that is about it.

      • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

        That’s good your choices are respected by everyone! When my grandmother-in-law found out my husband was marrying a ‘foreigner’ the first thing she said was ‘but what is she won’t wear a bindi!!!’ xx

        • Amanda McMahon

          Oh wow! Of all the concerns 🙂 At least it wasn’t something negative about being non-Indian (ie, all white women cheat, all women want a divorce…) So that’s good!

          • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

            I know! I was surprised too, but it’s good! She liked me from day one. My first day in India she travelled to Nagpur from her town and greeted me. She she was happy because she expected I would be wearing a mini skirt! LOL xx

  • M

    I hate wearing all of that stuff, my jewellery taste is very simple and usually only one or two pieces at a time. We’re in Delhi at the moment and my SILs are freaking out that I must wear the full Indian gear when we go to my in-law’s village. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.

  • Priyankavats Tyagi

    If you Google search you will find that the accessories had health benefits and to make it mandatory they used the excuse of marriage symbols and religious customs they were actually acupressure aids

        • Amanda McMahon

          Exactly. The lady who does my sweeping always has her bangles. some break but she has knew ones. The past few months she’s lost 3 families to moves and now she’ll lose me and be down to one family. Maids who charge less have made their way to our building so she hasn’t gained new ones. She has 2/5 of her old salary (and a husband who is not supporting basically) and she has to keep her green glass bangles, even though it means often she isn’t eating chapati. Our live in maid saves her chapati and we’ve taken to having chai and biscuit for her when she comes in the morning. So yes, it is 100% true. Glass bangles may not be expensive, but I know she has to go without at times. I do give her extra every few days because I can and I know that she may not find new work. She’s a hard worker, is honest and doesn’t ask for anything, even when she needs it.

      • Amanda McMahon

        I think it is a bit naive to see low working class ladies in glass bangles and when they live off 100-300 rupees a day for their family to think they aren’t going without to ensure they have the bangles required of them per custom/tradition.

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          The things we may consider as fashion are really essential to some people. I actually remember our maid came to ours once after sleeping in, her hair was still wet and she was frantic because her bindi had fallen off, she was really upset and came running into the house and asked for one xx

          • Amanda McMahon

            Definitely – these are things that really define them, their status, who they are… so of course it is important. So yes, the lady who does my sweeping comes in, in nice saris, bindi, toe rings, magnalsutra, etc. But she goes without milk for her chai some days, half a chapati… I know what I would choose, but I am not in her chappals!

          • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

            It’s really mixed up, but I don’t think there is anyway to change that attitude. Hopefully in a couple of generations time, this won’t be the case. Poor women xx

        • kreacherspeaks

          Amanda, what you do not understand is that those women think it is important. It isn’t a compulsion as much as a desire. For most of them at least. It’s like me saying someone is oppressed or compelled because they are wearing a hijaab or no makeup or not working. It’s more of a choice.

  • bhawnavij

    You remind me of my first month after wedding when I too used to dress up. But in major cities its either staunch traditionalists or the maids who wear the entire thing sparkle and all. Most young women I know of have stopped all this as it is a cultural inconvenience and also because of security aspect, cities are not safe to travel in, wearing kilos of gold. Your husband is rather lucky to have got an understanding wife who cooperates with his family demands. As far as you are happy, that’s the important thing.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Bhawanavij! I have also heard of many people being robbed of their gold, it’s so dazzling and I guess tempting for those who choose a life of crime.

      I hope you are well!

      • Amanda McMahon

        Here where I live I refuse to wear my magnalsutra, though I wore it in the US. Not too far from where I live there’s a chain snatching gang operating so I refuse to risk it. Even my live in maid has a fake one she wears and her expensive one she keeps in our locked up area. When she visits her village she takes it with her and wears it. Perhaps there people are less bold when someone may know them. In the metros it is easy to go to another area and no one will know you.

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          In the UK, there are a lot of Indians and there was a crime spree of thieves targeting Indians because they knew they would have a lot of gold in the house! xx

        • Alex

          In Sinagpore where it is very safe, you can probably get away with wearing more ornaments in public, of course its wise not to show off with too many junky ornaments. That said it depends on the spouse/women, do many women spend more times as a housewife and dress up at home, and are in the garden/yard and taking care of children. Do some spend time in a more white collar job like in delhi, or they an expat like in singapore. Do they frequent hindu temples and other religious gatherings, Religion can play a role also.

  • rohit

    its is not a big issue now in cities. Hindu women only wear mangalsutra and use sindoor now. becz its necy…only widow not wear manglsutra and couldn’t sindoor. Its just a ritual. our and new generation don’t care….

  • Bhagirathi Ramesh

    You look amazing. I think it all depends on ur family wedded to and also the place you are settled in. When I work at, I am hardly ever that ornomantal, bindi, sindoor, bangles, mangalsutra and that’s it. Though, my husband loves it when I get Gordy and wear anklets. I traded my heavy silver anklets to more lighter once with more bells. If that helps at all.
    When I go to my native place, I am expected to wear saree everyday, and be ornomantal just like you and also during Pooja. Other times you just slip thru the cracks

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Bhagirathi.

      Yes, I think it’s more practical to be simple even if the ornaments are beautiful. I hope that you are well!

      Lots of love xx

    • Praveen

      Bhagirathi is right. Heavy anklets don’t look good and can be an eye catcher and can land you in embarrassing situation. So your new light anklets with more bells must be really looking immaculate and the sound made as you move around must be music to the ears of the people around you. Even your colleagues must be enjoying the sound. I really like the sound of anklets than anything else.

  • rafaela

    my mom in law also dnt unterstand
    why i dnt use my minne in worksday, and why i dnt like bangels

    but really i miss my minne many time, i be proud to have it, and feel lonely when i cant use it

  • friend

    The sound of the anklets was used in Bollywood movies to create an errie effect. The image of a ghostly women in white sari holding candle, moving through a forest or desolate house is a legendary image of indian horror movies. Actually the sound of anklets come first followed by song.

    It is also used entice the hero in romantic sequences. Don’t worry about these things just care about a sindoor, magalsutra and bangles. I now it is difficult in a small town.

    Everybody wears artificial jewellery these days due to security reasons. The problem is we are used to seeing women with a minimum jewellery. It has a patriarchal history so people are rejecting it. Women without jewellery look very odd to us.

    I read a story where the lady wore a cheap necklace on her wedding day just to prove a point to her in laws that she is not in under their control when she was asked to buy something heavy. She regaled in the embarrassment of her in laws. I think this kind of attitude is disgusting.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Friend,

      That definitely sounds creepy! I really do like how I jingle when I walk.

      My situation was a little different from that woman’s, I had no choice but to wear little to nothing (it’s a long story lol), I didn’t mind until I came into the wedding hall and everyone was looking at me as if I were a witch or something. Haha.

      Oh well, I’ve learnt my lesson and try to be suitable during poojas and Grandma visits 🙂

      I hope you are well!

      Take care!! 😀

      • Alex

        Yes, but let me point out that they have different anklets, dancers have their own type of anklets, and sometimes simple anklets are wore for babies and young children, usually at weddings sometimes anklets with many bells would be worn, with lots of bells. Whether they are usually made out of silver or mostly costume like nickel I am not sure.

  • Star Kaur

    I am Brazilian and my husband is Indian Sikh. We do not live in India but I love to wear Indian jewelry, bracelets, anklets, sandoor daily.
    You are beautiful!

  • emily0830

    Hi Lauren! I think there is importance to taking time and effort in your appearance, but it ultimately depends on you. The jewelry I wear has special meaning to me, it goes above just wearing it to make a fashion statement. It is a physical reminder of a person, event or memory. I wear my wedding ring, thaali, and various earrings and bracelets everyday, not because it’s expected of me but because I like them. They remind me of good times and good memories. When I’m having a bad day they help remind me that their are people who care about me, and that I am loved.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Emily,

      Lovely to hear from you. I guess that in the West, we also do add our own personal sentiment to jewelry but for us it’s personal instead of cultural (except maybe a wedding band). It’s beautiful that you feel so comforted by these items!

      Lots of love xx

  • Shobha

    Hi Lauren,

    You look great in both the photos. all that jewelry seems to add balance to the color and zari patterns of saris and you have perfected the art of draping a sari. You can be as dressed up or down as you like esp. if you are in a hurry or it is hot or you forget, so be it.

    Generally the main worry is to be dressed to ‘cover’ up. It is a difficult to balance doing what one wants and the norms of society. At least you do not have to cover your hair or face. Even 30 years ago in Pune, women had the option to dress simply and not even cover their head.

    Just as you try to meet the expectations of your husband/family/community, they need to understand that you have your own way of doing things and accept that. But I think they are all pleased to see you look so beautiful in full regalia of a proper Maharashtrian bahu.


    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Shobha,

      Thank you very much! That’s very interesting!

      The things I wear without fail, I wear for me but things like bangles and earrings feel like a nuisance sometimes. I try to keep Grandma happy and wear bangles when I see her 😀

      I hope that you are well and thank you again!! 😀 xx

      • kreacherspeaks

        I love how you think of an old lady and do these things to keep her happy. I am sure they love and respect you for that. It’s a beautiful thought Lauren and your husband is a lucky guy 🙂

        Incidentally, I also like how you don’t indulge in bashing the culture (lots of people, Indians included do that). Still I agree with Shobha where she says that you should be as dressed up or down as you feel and not be compelled into it.

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          Thank you!!

          I guess that just doing a small thing can make someone happy, then why not do it. I don’t see her everyday though and wear the things I want to without fail, the other things happen sometimes depending on my mood/time/inclination/function.

          Take care xx

        • Praveen

          Lauren is truly a great person ho wants to keep her grandma happy. I like her attitude for the fact that being a foreigner and not used to Indian culture she has adapted so well. It is not easy for any lady to wear so much of jewelry like mangalsutra, ear rings, finger rings, bangles, nose ring, toe rings and anklets. She must have hardly worn any jewelry before marriage. Hats of to you dear Lauren

  • Priyahaf

    Hello. All of this is very interesting, & shows that most items of jewellery are not just worn to add sparkle & beauty, but with purpose & meaning.

    As for me, I never go out without a pottu (Tamil for bindi, nath (nose ring), bracelets, earrings (jumkhis on special occasions) & rings, as well as a dupatta.

    Most important is my japamala, & without it, I feel lost & having let Sri Mata Durga Ji down.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Priyahaf,

      That’s so lovely and interesting you wear a japamala at all times. It must make you feel safe, like a rosary for Catholics.

      I hope you are well and thank you so much for your comment xx

  • wcg2 Akshay

    Dear Lauren,

    THE COMPLUSION of wearing bindis, kumkum, bangles etc, arise due to historical reasons, though they have quite a big spiritual significance. Well, the reason is because of the sad events of the foreign rules of 800 years, starting from 1200 till middle of 20th century. During those days women were treated like commodities, and were often sold in flesh trade to middle east. A measured amount of protection was given by bindis, and bangles as it suggested the women are married, and its inhumane to take them away. Thus the compulsion creeped in, and hence the sarees became more covering and bindis became bigger. In fact, Infact my great-grandmother wore sarees without blouses, and I come from south India, which was less affected by invasion till the 18th century. Infact invasions were the reason why temples in North are smaller than temples in south, because they were ravaged repeatedly. A more interesting fact is that the Romans banned Benares cotton saree way back in 600BC, because the sarees were so thin and revealing. Thus, all I can say is that many a paranoia with many traditions arouse because of historical reasons. Aha yes another ashtonishing fact, also many a sequences in Indian marriages were written down by a woman saint. I forgot the name of the saint though.

    • Alex

      Yes, this may be true, but history can be region and religion specific, many women have worn jewelry not necessarily as a protection not to be taken away, but if the husband died or the women was left somewhere, she would always have something significant of value worn on her. in biblical times silver coins were worn, muslim women would carry jewelry in case their husbands divorced them which is done by speaking a phrase a few times.

  • Padparadscha

    In hubby’s family, women wear one gold bangle on each arm and gold earrings, especially when they go visiting. My elderst SIL was happy to see I wore a very fine chain (we were married in France so I got a ring and not a mangalsutra) but said I really need to wear earrings. I have to lure hubby in a jewellery shop next time. 😉

    When we presented our baby girl to the Indian side of the family, she was given silver anklets, a gold chain and gold rings ! I noticed her baby boy cousin also had anlets but with a simpler design. I felt so cheap and embarrassed with the plastic toys I’d bought for the other kids !

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Padparadscha,

      Aww how sweet! Children wearing jewellery is such an odd thing to Westerners but I’ve seen many babies wearing anklets and other things it does look very sweet (as long as they are not choking hazards ofcour!).

      I bet your daughter is adorable!!!

      Lots of love and good luck at the jewellery shop 😉 xx

      • Alex

        As mentioned above, celebrities have had their children wear anklets especially silver ones as a fashion. Maybe not as common with ordinary folk, but its catching on. Especially infants are wearing real silver ankle bells.

  • Danae

    Oh my, you look so lovely- a perfect English rosy in that first photo! You do not look plain at all! I am new here but your story has really inspired me. I will soon marry my American hubby and your story has really motivated me to try and be the best wife I could possibly be in all circumstances.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Aww thank you so much, Danae.

      I’m glad you have found some inspiration! Good luck with your marriage, I hope you have a wonderful wedding and a happy married life! Sending lots of love!!! xx

  • Michael Jones

    I was fascinated by the nose ring in your photos, so large and elaborate. Did you have your nose pierced for that, and do you still wear it?

  • madhmama

    In the South we have to wear thaali as well…so many things to remember!
    Right after my marriage, we were boarding the flight to India for our honeymoon. I had full mehendi and was wearing some symbols of marriage but not all. Of course one of the ladies asked me why I wasn’t wearing bangles and I was peeved. Like, am I supposed to wear all 16?!?! LOL
    I would be happy if the tradition was changed and men had to wear half as much. At least sindoor, I think that would look great on guys ;P

  • Alex

    To the poster a youtube channel hennafied has a lot of tutorials on wearing sarees,accessories,extensions,etc she even goes into a bit more detail than the average video or channel and talks about different dresses,tips for certain occasions,etc. Not sure if your familiar with her channel.

    I feel you should wear what makes you comfortable although you could compromise on family functions, sometimes you can forego with heavy jewelry and wear multiple light pieces of jewelry, for instance a light silver anklet with multiple bells and henna with feet and arms with multiple real silver bangles thin ones (nickel can give allergies), and light earnings and a red dot, could be an alternative to wearing heavy chokers for example.

    As for the guys it depends, many guys don’t care, but other’s love their spouses to dress up at times even at home, some women love to dress up at home. For many Muslims because of Hijab, often times the perfume,jewelry,dresses are worn at home, which is interesting because often times clothes may be relaxed since heavy dresses are not worn outside, but because of regulations of color,style, noisy jewelry,perfume,etc it isn’t uncommon for some women to dress up.

    I guess future spouses should discuss this before they get married, I am not sure. You can’t really fault a guy who loves his wife to dress up sometimes, when guys who don’t care can yell at the women spending time,effort, and money as an excuse on jewelry. So it depends on the couple.

    • Alex

      I see a similar comment was already posted by me on this blog under “Bangles for godess lakshmi”, there are multiple blogs similar to this one, so I must have got missed up, but doesn’t hurt to repeat info sometimes. I find these blogs interesting of foreign spouses of indians especially living in india and the customs.

      Sometimes it seems that newcomers are more interested and exploratory then many folks already in INDIA, more particularly the younger generation, but even more so because many folks in India may be adopted to what their family or generations have as a custom and even more so the religion and province or region they are free. Foreigners are not usually bound or rather have a particular custom to go with, so for instance a foreign bride may choose to incorporate customs from rajahasthan and mix it with a custom from punjab.

      Interesting, and far from infringing on a culture sadly (which I think has to blame on a perception of western style bollywood themes,music,etc which I find nothing wrong with) say as some remark, it helps preserve and respect it.

      • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

        Hey Alex,

        I think it is always nice to learn the history and significance of the customs and traditions of a new culture, and our own ones. I guess everyone should have a choice and not fear judgement, but also respect the custom.

        Take care, thank you for your comment 😀

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Alex,

      Thank you for the recommendations! I guess the main thing is that the woman is comfortable and enjoys dressing up and shouldn’t fear judgement 🙂

      I hope you are well! 😀

  • Allyce

    I laughed when I read that your anklets are “practically welded” on because My reason for never taking off my payals (anklets) is the same as yours. The clasp is pinched closed. They are my only ornaments besides my western jewelry right now but I’ll probably wear more after my wedding (in two weeks!)

    My Mil and Sil don’t wear much jewelry usually but my mil always wears her sindoor, toe and nose rings. She’ll add a bindi when she goes out. The bindis are like a plague in the house. I find them stuck everywhere!
    Our whole family is pretty casual. Usually just wedding ring, one or a pair of small gold bangles and small nose rings. Only one bhabhi wears lots of jewelry. Most don’t bother with toe rings and pretty much only the younger set wears payals. Everything I’ve seen family wearing is pretty tastefully modest, not overly flashy.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Allyce,

      Yes, they are forever welded 😀 I was worried about airport security when I visited England but it was fine in the end. I hope your wedding went well dear, CONGRATS!! I also find bindis everywhere in my own house, when I lived with my inlaws there wasn’t as many because my MIL paints hers on with liquid (a wise move usually, but not in this heat!).

      I hope everything is going well!

      Lots of love xx

  • Courtney

    I am married to an Indian guy (I’m american) and I love wearing bangles and payal (anklets) daily. Problem is in winter it is so cold (as we live in NY) and I have to wear boots. I cannot figure out how to wear my payal in winter. Any suggestions of what you did when you were in england? Did you still wear yours? I have just been not wearing them throughout winter but I truly miss it! Love your blog by the way.

    • ThePurpleImp

      Hi Courtney,

      There are various types of anklets available in India (if you shop here 🙂 ). You will have big elaborate ones that jingle all the time and slim delicate ones with tiny bells or no bells. You could try those. They fit into boots perfectly. I understand your problem as I had a single thick silver chain on my left ankle (for style really) and it kept hurting me during winters. I think the slim ones should do the trick really. Hope this helps!

    • allycebg

      I usually shift things around so my socks go under my payals. Then it keeps my ankles warm and the socks protect my ankles from being scratched when the shoes/boots press the payals into my ankles. I have to be careful as not to get everything caught though

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      I always tucked them into my socks!! I haven’t been back to England much since having them, sadly.
      Thank you so much for reading!!
      I hope you are all well! xx

  • Nikita

    It’s not important to wear sindoor and mangalsutra all the time! Nor is it important to wear Indian clothes all the time.Take it easy! And be little responsible.That gas incident was scary.Take care.

  • Kamal

    Dear Lauren
    I am an Indian wife born and raised in England and still living here and have found it difficult at times so can imagine some of the challenges you must face. Enjoy life, be true to yourself and well done for doing everything for love.

  • Honey

    You are an awesome person! I am an Indian and also married to an Indian. My husband comes from even more traditional family than my parents are. Initially, at the beginning of wedding, I loved my husband so much that I went nuts over the traditions and rituals and all that bindi, bangles, saris, sindoor, puja etc.,. Funnily, my husband never cared about that stuff as much and as rituals started binding me, he set me free. LOL! After 6 years of marriage (7th coming soon), I wear nothing and my husband doesn’t care much about it. We both love each other and since we have been through super bumpy paths through our journey, we are usually easy on each other in a lot of different aspects. Once in a while, I do wear traditional attire, specially coz I love sari and hubby sweetheart is happy to see me be happy doing something I like. I don’t think when humans initially created traditions, it was a rigid system as it’s considered now. It’s sad to see how anything can be taken to a next level anywhere in the world. Anyways, I do think your hubby is super lucky to have found you since I know a ton of Indian women (my cousins, friends, acquaintances, etc,) who wear nothing at all 🙂

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