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A bindi (Hindi: बिंदी, from Sanskrit bindu, meaning “a drop, small particle, dot”) is a forehead decoration worn in South Asia(particularly India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Mauritius). and Southeast Asia. Traditionally it is a dot of red color applied in the center of the forehead close to the eyebrows, but it can also consist of a sign or piece of jewelry worn at this location.
In modern times, bindis are worn by women of many religious dispositions in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and is not restricted to Hindus. Many Muslim women in Bangladesh and Pakistan wear the bindi as part of makeup.
- From Vedic times, the bindi was created as a means to worship one’s intellect. Therefore it was used by both men and women. The worship of intellect was in order to use it to ensure our thoughts, speech, actions, habits and ultimately our character becomes pure. A strong intellect can help one to make noble decisions in life, be able to stand up to challenges in life with courage, and recognize and welcome good thoughts in life. The belief was that on this a strong individual, a strong family and strong society can be formed.
- In meditation, this very spot between the eyebrows (Bhrumadhya) is where one focuses his/her sight, so that it helps concentration. Most images of Buddha or Hindu divinities in meditative pose with their eyes nearly closed show the gaze focused between eyebrows (other spot being the tip of the nose – naasikagra).
Bindis are worn throughout South Asia, specifically India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, by women, men, girls and boys, and no longer signify age, marital status, religious background or ethnic affiliation. The bindi has become a decorative item and is no longer restricted in colour or shape.  Self-adhesive bindis (also known as sticker bindis) are available, usually made of felt or thin metal and adhesive on the other side. These are simple to apply, disposable substitutes for older tilak bindis. Sticker bindis come in many colors, designs, materials, and sizes. Some are decorated with sequins, glass beads, or rhinestones.
Bindis are not always red, nor always a dot, nor always worn by women. They are called kumkum or bindi, or tilak (“mark”) when worn by men. Usually Hindu women, priests, monks and worshipers wear it. Men wear it on auspicious occasions such as Puja (ritual worship), or marriage, or Aarti (waving of lights), on festive occasions such as on Raksha-bandhan, Bhaai-duj, Karvaa Chauth or Paadwaa or Dasshera, or while embarking on, or upon return from a voyage or a campaign. It is also worn by Jains and Buddhists (even in China).