A tale of two sisters: the hijab and the nose ring

One World, Many Voices - A Global Conversation


Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, known for being fashion forward, wore a nose ring (“nathani”) as the only piece of jewelry at Cannes Film Festival in 2013—presumably both as a style statement and a declaration of her “Indian-ness”.

By Tanvi Misra 

Some women choose to wear the Islamic veil because it’s an expression of cultural identity rather than a symbol of patriarchy for them. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s quite similar to why I choose to wear a nose ring.

A lot of people, even South Asian women who have nose piercings, may not know the significance of a nose stud in Hinduism. A lot of people say it’s associated with goddess Parvati—the lady up there in charge of matrimony. Some apparently also believe that a piercing on the left side eases the pain of childbirth—something about it being linked to the reproductive organs.

Some women in India probably…

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