Sindoor, Kumkum, Kasturi or Vermilion!
Sindoor, made popular by the dialogue from the blockbuster “Om Shanti Om” – “Ek chutki Sindoor ki kimat, tum kya jano Ramesh Babu”, symbolizes the married status of a woman. If you stop wearing it, it indicates the death of the husband. For religions besides Hinduism; i.e Christianity, Muslim, Jainism and Buddhism, sindoor is not a part of the marriage ceremony. There are a few variations to the typical red colour you must be familiar with. In Bihar and some parts of Nepal, for example, an orange version of the sindoor is used in marriages.
Sindoor is considered to symbolize the female energy of Goddess Parvati and Sati as per the Hindu Scriptures. Have you ever wondered why sindoor is red and not yellow or pink? This is because red is considered auspicious by the Hindus and is the colour of love and passion. This red powder is my personal favourite from the Solah Shringar. It not only adds feminine grace and beauty, but completes the Indian look when I wear a sari.
I often wondered where this tradition of sindoor started from and why is it dying?! Sindoor can be traced back to the Indus valley and Harappan civilizations but today, I can hardly make out a married woman, as the red colour has either shrunk to a dot or is non-existent. The traditional powder is replaced by sindoor sticks which are more like a lipstick – the modern sindoor. This can be attributed to the growing number of working women who want to be the equals of men and not let marriage impede their progress or fashion. Come on – sindoor doesn’t go with miniskirts and jeans.
Well, I am a lover of traditions – the small bindi, the red sindoor, the Colourful Bangles, the Mangalsutra – everything has some significance, so let’s keep our traditions alive!!