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?

About Ambaa

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.

  • 5w_haul

    lol goodness me amba you are making some serious speculations

    • Ambaa

      Do you think I’ve gone too far? I could take that sentence out.

  • 5w_haul

    its a traditional practice where girl’s nose and ears and boy’s ears are pierced early in childhood.i don’t even remember my ear being pierced but still have 5 gm gold earrings brought by grandmother at piercing time.

  • TF

    well Americans just don’t do nose & ear piercing u people like it to do it everywhere

    • Ambaa

      “You people”? Really? I have only ear and nose piercing. I know several American girls who have no piercings at all.


    Hey Ambaa

    It’s been a week since I’ve read your blog. A very hectic week it was. Let’s get to the point why do Hindu women have their nose pierce.

    Well the answer is simple, when a woman gets Engage to a man, then she is spoken for, and when she attends any other cultural events or religious events she will not get approach by another suitors for her hand in marriage because the nose ring means she is already engage or spoken for and a true gentleman never breaks this rule but in modern day it’s a different story . I asked my wife to be to do this and she did. When I first met my Mrs to be she was beautiful and was asked at least three times before me by others and to that she said no to all of them. And when she said yes to me I knew there was God. :) Rest is history.

    • Ambaa

      Awww! That’s a sweet story :)