Why do hindu women wear bindi/pottu?


A true story.

One of the things that used to annoy me when I was visiting relatives was their standard question: “Where is your bindi/pottu? Why is your forehead bare?” 

shilpa-liquid-kumkum
Liquid pottu

When I was young, there were 2 kinds of pottu/bindi available – the liquid one & the sticker one. I did not like the liquid one because it washes off easily & I used to wash my face with water often. The sticker ones gave me pimples on my forehead.   Have you noticed that many older women have dark spots on their forehead caused by years of pottu wearing but they will continue damaging their skin by wearing pottu. 

This incident happened about 15 years ago.

I asked an aunt as to why they insist on wearing pottu? 

Aunt: Pottu covers the spot between your eyebrows which is very powerful. If you don’t wear pottu, people can look at that spot between your forehead, hypnotize & kidnap young girls like you.”

Me: “Well, christians & muslims do not wear pottu. Then, what about those girls?”

Aunt: “The kidnappers hypnotize & kidnap them. Hindu girls are safe because of pottu.”

This red dot protects you from being hypnotized & being kidnapped.

What a load of bollocks!

14 thoughts on “Why do hindu women wear bindi/pottu?

  1. Hi, hope you are good came across this post looking for something else strangely :P. I remembered my mums reasoning. she always had this funny things to justify even if she herself didnt believe in them. here reasoning was more philosophically it is apparently to remind you that you should see a person with the eye of your mind than judge them from the view point of your physical eye. She claims its from a poet but i dont know . And this was irrespective of gender which is why men used to have sandal or kum kum dots on their forehead as well before

    1. Hey S, I am doing good.

      Nice reasoning but how many of us are told that or remember that is the reason why we put on pottu? None as far as I know. Philosophy is good when we explain the reason behind the ritual right but we rarely do.

  2. Hahahaha so funny! I get asked the same question when I am in Indian attire, “Where is your pottu?”
    I think Indian girls are strong enough to not get hypnotized LOL.
    I like mine stickered but very small, like 2mm in size.

  3. I always wear the pottu, albeit a tiny black one, i think it makes my face look good and my forehead a bit more interesting. of course event hat irritates the culture police since its too small, too black etc., etc., but then again i was never one to listen to BS 🙂

  4. lol.. so funny .. wearing bindi can save me from being kidnapped .. you know what may be hindu guys should also start wearing the red dot.. it would save them from the kidnappers too .. after all why should only girls get all the protection the boys/men need protection from the hypnotizing kidnappers no ?

  5. As I grow older, I realize that I was fed a whole lot of bullshit as a Hindu Brahmin girl under the guise of that all wonderful culture called the Great Indian culture- that which must not be sullied by the evil West. What a load of crock it all is! It is disheartening to realize the lies one was fed as a child. All I can do now is ensure I don’t perpetrate this type of abuse on my own child.

    1. If the West is so bad, why have Indian cultural purists adopted their ways when it has suited them? A male relative of mine asked me why I never wore sarees or salwar kameezes like a good Indian woman. I asked him why he wore trousers. He said that western attire for men had become the norm and was now a part of the local culture. Very convenient, I must say.

      1. Sraboney, I agree! The west is only bad for some things it seems (western clothes for women, “western” ways of thinking) but not in some others, especially not when it benefits the dominant group in some way.

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