Why Do Hindus Pierce Their Nose? [Google Questions Answered]

Curious to know what people were wondering about Hindus and Hinduism, I went to Google and entered some prompts. For example, I typed “Why do Hindus” and then paused to see what questions would come up. I’m going to be doing a series of answers for Google to help people get their most pressing questions answered. First up…

Why Do Hindus Pierce Their Nose?

Elaborate decoration of Hindu women (well, brides in particular) is a tradition from ancient times. Hindu women often have many beautiful pieces of jewelry. In ancient times and still through modern times for some people, a woman’s wedding jewelry was hers to keep while everything else became her husband’s. A woman’s family would provide her with expensive jewelry as a form of savings account. If times were hard, a woman always had valuable jewelry she could sell if she needed help.

A nose ring is also one of the several symbols of a married woman. In some regions a girl’s nose is pierced once she is “of marriageable age” and marks her as ready for a husband. (Not every region uses nose rings. There are plenty of Hindus who do not have that as a tradition).

There is another reason for the nose ring. As part of Ayurveda, ancient Indian medicine (which is still practiced today), it is believed that a hole in a woman’s left nostril relieves some of the pain in childbirth.

However, the side of the piercing (or if piercing both sides or the center) depends on region and community. I’m told that generally the left side is common in North India and the right side is common in South India.

I’ve often found it amusing that something like a nose piercing could be seen so very differently depending on the culture. In America piercing one’s nose is seen as an act of rebellion against one’s parents. It’s seen as improper and “wild.” In India, nose piercing is a deeply traditional choice and shows a respect to one’s heritage and family. I’ve heard young Hindu American friends talk about their grandmothers being very distraught that they had not pierced their noses. My family was less than thrilled when I pierced mine!

Though Hindus are more likely to have pierced noses, women of other religions can as well.

More info here: http://www.hindu-blog.com/2008/01/why-hindu-women-wear-nose-stud.html

Other Google Questions Answered

Why Do Hindus Pierce Their Nose?

What Does Hinduism Say About Homosexuality?

Why Do Hindus Wear Turbans?

Why Do Hindus Not Eat Beef?

How Does Hinduism Differ From Buddhism?


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About Ambaa Choate

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Tosha Avon

    And why did you not get your nose pierced as you also got married? Sexiest Indian Man.

    I am sound some research on my end. I will come up with many more arguments. For now I have one.

    Nose is one of the five sensory organs and one of the four on the face. Nose has most of the nerves right there in the part that forms the exterior nose connecting right to the brain.

    To control and tame animals, especially the difficult ones, man pierces their nose. This helps the man to direct and control the animal. Eg, an ox that is used in bullock cart has nose pierced and rope going across. To tell the animal to change directions man pulls the side of rope to direct that turn.

  • http://www.deafdrummer.org Stephanie Ellison

    SPAMMER! Get these spammers off your page.

    • Ambaa

      Thank you for pointing it out. I missed this one.

  • Bhatt

    And you look so beautiful :)

  • http://www.hamarahindutan.com Hamara Hindustan

    thanks for sharing article visit HamaraHindustan

  • http://www.life360degrees.com/ Life360 Degrees

    I am Indian and wasn’t aware about the fact that it relives a women during childbirth. The fact that it is a mark of marriage is something I always believed in. However in today’s day and age, it has become more of a fashion statement among youngsters in India and outside the country as well.

  • BG Davis

    “In America piercing one’s nose is seen as an act of rebellion against one’s parents. It’s seen as improper and “wild.””
    Actually, by many Americans it’s seen as stupid self-mutilation; the motive, such as it is, seems to be to fit in to some group or other.


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