Wearing sindoor in England

Since returning to England I have continued to wear sindoor. It is uncommon to see anyone wearing sindoor here, even among the Indian Brits so the red powder in my hair has caused some curiosity and lots of questions.

Wearing Sindoor in England

Whilst at work I am regularly questioned about my sindoor. Here are a couple of examples:

  • “Did you hit your head and cut yourself?”
  • “Oh that thing on your head looks really painful, what happened?”
  • “Did you dye your hair?”
  • “Why do you have red stuff on your head?”
  • “Is that a Muslim thing?”
  • “What is that?” (whilst waving a finger extremely close to my face)

Just today a lovely woman asked “What does the red powder symbolise? It looks very beautiful”. So sweet of her to ask nicely, quite a few people have asked in a really hostile tone. I told her the reasons I wear sindoor…

The main reason I, personally, wear sindoor everyday is that applying sindoor everyday reminds me of the moment we became husband and wife.  It is traditional for married Hindu women to wear sindoor in the parting of their hair, this tradition is more than 5,000 years old. A symbol of their desire for their husband to live a long life as the Goddess Parvati protects all men whose wives wear sindoor. Applying this red powder also supposed to activates the third-eye (ajna) and crown (sahasrara) chakras and brings health and prosperity to married life.

I may be thousands of miles away from my husband now but applying sindoor proudly everyday somehow gives me an extra dose strengthI don’t mind when strangers (politely) ask me “what is that on your head?” because I am very proud to wear sindoor and can openly share my reasons for wearing it (and enjoy seeing the relief on their faces when they find out I don’t have a head injury!).

Looking to buy sindoor online? Try my favourite liquid brand… USUKIndia

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54 comments

  1. I love this Lauren…so very beautiful! Thank you for sharing your beauty & Love! ♥♥

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  2. “but applying sindoor everyday gives me strength and I couldn’t imagine life without it now. I don’t mind that strangers ask me “what is that on your head?” because I am very proud to wear my sindoor and can openly share my reasons for wearing it”…………….wonderful thought ,
    all best wishes.
    Wish you a blissful happy married life,
    with regards

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  3. “The main reason I, personally, wear sindoor everyday is that I am so proud of my husband, and applying sindoor everyday reminds me of the moment we first became Husband and Wife.”
    *sigh* ❤
    Must say, you have a beautiful love story, Lauren! 🙂

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    • Yes a lot of staring indeed! I went to subway today and the guy working there was from India and said “wowww you wear sindoor”, it was so funny to see the shock on his face (I don’t really know why it was that shocking though hehe).

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      • It seems that Indians are surprised whenever they see a Westerner do anything Indian. They are always surprised when you start speaking their language too, even if it’s just on or two words. At least that has been my experience 🙂

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      • Hahaha yes! I am learning Marathi and even if I say one simple word people are extremely happy and congratulate me… then tell other people how I said this word. A small celebration follows, Hahaha!

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      • it is coz we are civilization like Roman greek macedonian mesopotamian egyptian we are from indus valley civilization india is complex country and had relation with all civilizations the oldest of all in ancient time and only culture which is still livid one can understand of what is our way of thinking by reading our ancient scriptures we welcome all to learn share enjoy ppl named india our & our religion there is no word hindu anywhere no india and we will not force anybody but open to all we have lot to tell to world but only if they need if any one learn any language trust me its huge treasure to them, mind will overwhelm with knowledge thats why ppl feel happy to share the joy our way of welcoming is by namaste means we bow to the divine in you we welcome ppl wide open hands to and let dem to explore. bharat means to bear to conceive bhr- is like fire.. also Bhayam means Gyan(knowledge) and Rat-ah means engaged continuously in acquiring knowledge. Namaste…

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  4. you are looking amazingly beautiful…. 🙂 loved that sindoor on your head…. n at the same time.. i’m glad that you so very well understand the importance of putting Sindoor… Hats Off to you… 🙂 🙂

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  5. Many Hindu Indian married women abandon this tradition. It’s great to know that you are wearing it all time.

    I came to know your blog via Telugu News Portal [ http://www.sakshi.com/news/funday/love-marriage-is-a-gandharva-marriage-says-abhi-125575?pfrom=home-top-story ]

    I started reading this blog 2 hours ago and I didn’t even taken a single break..!!

    Wish you a great time in India and Happy married life. 🙂

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  6. Even Indian married women don’t wear sindoor as they think people are going to ask questions and they are ashamed to do so.You are amazing

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  7. Lol, My wife and I live in the US. I remember the first time we visited a doctor after our marriage. She had worn a dark brick red sindoor that day. It really stood out against her pale skin. Suddenly the doctor asked me to leave the room. I was puzzled, but did as I was told. After about 10 minutes, he called me back in and continued talking to both of us as if nothing had happened. When we left the Dr’s office, my wife giggled and told me that the Doctor had asked her if she was having marital problems and whether I was physically hitting her and that was the reason for the bruise!! He thought it was dried blood or something.

    When my wife explained what it was, he was visibly embarrassed and apologized profusely!! He had never seen anything like it before and just assumed the worst.

    For some reason, that I have never completely understood, she loves displaying three symbols of her status as my wife in public. Her mangalsutra, her mitti and her sindoor. I don’t think she has ever removed the first two from her body ever.

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  8. Lol, My wife and I live in the US. I remember the first time we visited a doctor after our marriage. She had worn a dark brick red sindoor that day. It really stood out against her pale skin. Suddenly the doctor asked me to leave the room. I was puzzled, but did as I was told. After about 10 minutes, he called me back in and continued talking to both of us as if nothing had happened. When we left the Dr’s office, my wife giggled and told me that the Doctor had asked her if she was having marital problems and whether I was physically hitting her and that was the reason for the bruise!! He thought it was dried blood or something.
    When my wife explained what it was, he was visibly embarrassed and apologized profusely!! He had never seen anything like it before and just assumed the worst.
    For some reason, that I have never completely understood, she loves displaying three symbols of her status as my wife in public. Her mangalsutra, her mitti and her sindoor. I don’t think she has ever removed the first two from her body ever.

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  9. Hi am very impressed by your blog bindi sindoor Its Advaitan way of living or a vedic way of living may be spend some time on vedanta its absolutely logical its kind harnessing cosmic energy which is all around you keep focused on things it radiates on your fore head makes you vigilant, vivid, keeps you in voracious thirst for energy & knowledge if you get advaita vedanta properly.. for women its like compulsory coz women is “chanchal” it means she dynamic and often keep changing thoughts and 5 senses are likely not controlled however she is powerful too these are just tools to remind that energy and goal of life if you get advaita all ancient cultures which ppl have forgotten of this world comes in front of you and you belong to no religion & hate none Thank you 🙂 God bless you all

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  10. I am married with a Punjabi and we live in Romania…When i wear sindoor many people look at me worried and say ” What happend? You have blood on your head!” Ha ha is funny… 🙂

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  11. […] Only hours before, my friend and I were eating dessert in a restaurant and the waiter, who wasn’t Indian, told me he liked my sindoor and asked how long I’ve been married. This all happened in multicultural London, my sindoor is often met with confusion in the part of England I am from. People usually think I have a head injury! […]

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  12. I wear sindoor in the U.S. and I haven’t gotten too many comments on it. Only one thinking it was blood. I think maybe people are afraid to ask about it?

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  13. Love your view on sindoor! I only get comment when I go to my hairdresser and they wash my hair. ‘What’s that, are you bleeding?’ is the question I often get asked.

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  14. Love it… what a strong message…. Its really amazing how much you love and respect your husband… Many Indians dont want to marry westerners because they’re scared their culture and traditions will be lost or disrespected…..

    your husband is super lucky to have someone who not only loves him but also the culture etc etc

    im a big fan lol

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  15. […] When my husband applied sindoor to my hairline for the first time, I knew nothing of it’s significance. I had no history with sindoor, no background, no experience. As a child I didn’t see my mother apply it to her hairline every morning, I wasn’t told that once I became a wife it’s mandatory for me to wear it. I only saw the love behind my husband’s eyes and the fact we were now married. Sindoor became part of my personal journey and when I had to move back to England for a while after our marriage, wearing sindoor became a source of great comfort. […]

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  16. I am very proud of you, you may idol of our Hindu society, I pray to Shiva give you long life . Our indian Hindu girl now a days became follower of western culture and they hate Indian culture.

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  17. Hi Lauren, I came across your blog through your clip about ‘my life in India’ on youtube, and believe me, since yesterday have been curiously reading your blogs. The way you write and narrates the incidents is really great – one can easily connect/visualize the entire flow of events. Plus on top of that your love for Indian tradition and culture makes me feel so happy. During the initial days of our marriage, my wife use to regularly nudge me to apply sindoor on her forehead. But somehow as time passed and with busy routine we had forgot about this. But now after reading your post, I will once again diligently start this sindoor practice again. It really develops a strong bond and affection. Thank you for enlightening us of our culture. You are such a nice person and I wish you all the happiness. Take care.
    Regards
    Arun

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