Most of us know that the piercing of noses is a practice originated in ancient Indian culture, but did you know that nose piercing is mentioned in the Vedic Scripts, which are over 6000 years old!? The Vedic scripts are an ancient Indian text that lays out astounding knowledge as perceived by early Indian civilization, and the Ayurveda, the portion of this manuscript dedicated to medicine, explains the proper reasoning behind piercings of the female nose.
Ayurvedic medicine is still practiced in India today, as well in the Western world in far smaller doses, and according to this practice various portions of the nose are directly connected to health in women. In fact, it is still a common practice for Hindu brides to wear a large, ornate nose ring on their wedding day that is connected their hair or the corresponding ear with a chain.
Modern Indian beauty however, gives us far more than just the amazing fashion of the nose piercing; it gives us Bollywood. The name “Bollywood” is a mixture of our Hollywood and Bombay, the former capital of popular Hindi Cinema, which is now the city of Mumbai. This isn’t actually a physical location, but rather a term coined to describe the grouping of popular Hindi movie styles that maintain commercial success in India and around the world.
To be a sought after Bollywood actress is akin to being an it girl in the US, with advertisements, red carpet premiers, and media exposure playing their standard parts in fame. Bollywood beauty though, is something altogether different. The modern style of Indian jewelry is as lovely and decorative as traditional fare, but with unexpected color combinations like citrine and plum, or turquoise and crimson.
Nose piercings and belly piercings still feature prominently as in the US, but a more innately feminine style and a love of yellow gold (now taking a back seat in the West) are stunningly present.
Indeed Indian jewelry is all about color and substance, as opposed to streamlining and minimalism. Nature derived shapes, chandelier dangles, and bright, brilliant hues lend a feeling of warmth and playfullness to the Bollywood style. Popular elements include elipses, mandala-like circular designs, scrolling patterns, sunny colors, mirror tiles, and intricate floral inspired pieces.
Bracelets are stacked high in every color imaginable, and earrings hang long, showing off a spirit that is flirty, free, and full of movement.
For thousands of years, Indian women have been doing jewelry and fashion right, and we American’s can only sit back, and learn as we go. Tandoori naan, anyone?