sindoor red powder


sindoor red powder

***** Location: India
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Sindooram (Sanskrit) and Telugu,Tamil,Kannada,Malayalam or Sindoor (Hindustani: सिन्दूर or سندور, Gujarati: સિંદૂર)
is a traditional red or orange-red colored cosmetic powder from India, usually worn by married women along the parting of their hair. Use of sindoor denotes that a woman is married in many Hindu communities, and ceasing to wear it usually implies widowhood. The main component of traditional sindoor is usually vermilion.

Sindoor is traditionally applied at the beginning or completely along the parting-line of a woman’s hair (also called maang) or as a dot on the forehead. Sindoor is the mark of a married woman in Hinduism. Single women wear the dot in different colors ("bindi" in Hindi) but do not apply sindoor in their maang. Hindu widows do not wear sindoor, signifying that their husband is no longer alive.

A version used in Hindu rituals or puja is known as Kumkum. This lends itself to the name of a wedding ritual in some Hindu communities, known as 'Haldi-Kumkum'. The sindoor is first applied to the woman by her husband on the day of her wedding and is called as Sindoor Dana ceremony. After this time she must apply this every day herself in the parting of her hairline.

The wiping off of the sindoor is very significant for a widow. There are many rituals associated with this practice. The most common being the mother-in-law or older sister-in-law wiping off the sindoor when the woman becomes a widow. The widow will break her bangles and remove her bindi as well. Many Hindu women will remove their nose ring and toe rings as well. The parting of hair is symbolic of river of red blood full of life. When the sindoor is removed then the river becomes barren, dry and empty. This custom is prevalent in rural areas and is followed by all castes and social ranks.

The red sindoor is significant for the married woman as she is full of colour. When she becomes a widow she adopts the white dress and removes all colour from her face including the bright red sindoor.

Methods and styles of applying the sindoor vary from personal choice to regional customs. Many new brides will fill the whole hair line with sindoor, while other married women may just apply a red spot at the end of the hair line and forehead. Recently, a triangle shape on the forehead pointing towards the nose, added with a diamond bindi for fashion is being worn by younger women.
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Worldwide use

Things found on the way


flowering jasmine . . .
the bridegroom puts sindoor
in her hair

Shared by Sandip Chauhan
Haiku Culture Magazine - 2013


Related words

***** . Haiku from Punjab .


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