After Native American headdresses, this twitter campaign says that banning bindis at music festivals should be the next step. 

There has been copious amounts of talk about cultural appropriation at music festivals, coinciding with several other items being banned at said festivals. These include non-culturally offensive accessories such as Kandi bands and selfie sticks, but also Native American headdresses. And now the spotlight has fallen upon our humble, unobtrusive bindi.


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In the case of Native American headdresses, the banning was based on the grounds that the headdress is something the Native American minority consider extremely sacred. It’s something that’s earned through exploit in their culture, not worn for aesthetic value. Therefore, the matter of cultural appropriation arises. Appropriating a culture essentially indicates the monopolizing of a culture or a facet of a culture by an individual, i.e., when the individual makes it their own.


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There are several Indian/South Asian women taking personal offense to this alleged cultural appropriation. It’s considered a bastardization of our culture even though the bindi is an aesthetic decoration. It does have religious/spiritual origins and is said to represent the crown chakra or “third eye”, which enhances wisdom, it is not an accessory that needs to be earned by the wearer.

This Twitter campaign, hashtagged “Reclaim The Bindi” where South Asian women post pictures of them wearing bindis.

While many women feel empowered with this hashtag, some seem to find it fundamentally redundant.  

This hashtag and the entire movement is catching on. Do you think that donning a bindi is cultural appropriation? Furthermore, do you think that the bindi should be amongst the items to be banned from music festivals?