Hindu bindis all the rage at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (w/gallery)

Published: April 17, 2014


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Vanessa Hudgens

VANCOUVER DESI

California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is known for more than just its plethora of music.

It’s also a weekend of outrageously weird fashion statements and trends – many of which come under fire for their cultural appropriations. First it was festival goers incorporating native headdresses as part of their get-ups and this year it seems to be the Hindu bindi.

Stars like Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Kylie Jenner and Ellie Goulding (who regularly wears the bindi in performances) were all spotted on Instagram sporting the South Asian inspired summer festival look.

Jezebel writer Isha Aran reflected on this seemingly new trend calling it “degrading” to Hinduism and chalking it up to a “lack of respect for a culture.”

“The bindi is not your music festival fashion accessory,” Aran writes. “While I can certainly recognize the celebration of a cultural symbol, this is the exact fine line that separates appreciation and appropriation.”

“It doesn’t take from Hindu culture on Hindu culture’s terms. It takes from Hindu culture on American terms and negates the Hindu aspect through ignorance and exoticism.”

According to Aran, in Hindu terms, the bindi is a physical symbol of wisdom, spiritual development and the third eye – a meaning likely lost on the trendy music fans.

“Wearing a bindi to Coachella certainly is not a genuine celebration of Hindu culture,” she wrote. “I guess at Coachella, cultural awareness goes out the window.”

Read Aran’s full editorial here

Coachella’s second and final weekend kicks off on Friday.

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