Tracking Tattoo Culture From Indian Tradition to High Fashion

Tracking Tattoo Culture From Indian Tradition to High Fashion


Source : Wikipedia Commons

My grandmother had some indelible symbols tattooed in her hands. Whenever I met her, I would ask “Was it painful?” The only reply I got from her is “yeah a little pinch”, with a blushing smile. That greenish symbol in her sagged skin, near the thumb was adorable.

The fascination towards indelible inking culture increased my desire to get tattooed. Once I entered college in 2007, I thought I would do it. But then I noticed the rapid increase in youngsters getting tattooed. Getting tattooed began to be considered overly Westernized. My conservative Indian parents forbid me from getting a tattoo ever. Thus, my wished died. I still imagine getting tattooed as the craving for bodily art remains inside me.

Tattoos in Indian Tribes

Tattoo culture have been around India since ancient times within the lower stratum or tribes. [bctt tweet=”What was initially considered taboo in Indian culture became a trending fashion in recent years.” username=”contactrwc”] Tattoos are even customized now and there some famous tattoo artists like “Manjeet Singh” from Delhi India, are considered a celebrity.

This turn of events is quite interesting! Let’s start with the reasons what I have studied it.

  • Tattooing was practiced among the rival tribes to avoid the abduction of women from their community. Women getting taken away was a common occurrence. To avoid that, women of their community got covered with tattoos to make them unappealing to others. It was a safe way protective cover.
  • The Singhpo tribe followed a set of rules on tattooing for both men and women. The unmarried girls are not allowed to get tattooed and the married folk are allowed to wear tattoos on specific parts of their body.
  • Tattoos are mostly used for tribal identity in the region during war times.
  • One of the tribes in Orissa believed that getting tattooed with beautiful geometric facial tattoos helps them recognize each other once they enter the spirit world. They were called as “People Of Spirit World”.
  • In some regions it is believed that the god of death — Yama’s displeasure and condemnation can be invoked in the absence of  tattoos.

Gradual Shift in Mindset

In South India, a community named “Korathi” , who were nomadic and roamed about every direction of the country searching of clients to get tattooed. Their main form of work was tattooing (Pachakuthuradhu in tamil) in return for rice, plantains, betel leaves and nuts, and sometimes cash too.

Korathis start their tattooing procedure with a benediction, blessing the individual who is going to be get tattooed. They then sing some nursery rhymes too to divert the clients from the pain.

People believe that tattooing designs resembling kolam on their body makes them safe from the evil around them until they reunited with deceased ancestors in the afterlife. Kolams are labyrinth symbols that are usually drawn at the house entrance using rice flour or chalk for keeping away the evil from their home.

Tattoos related to the tribal adaptations like a dragon, tiger among men and butterflies among women and other abstract art started  gaining popularity. Apart from the tribal symbols, memorial tattoos in name of loved ones which commemorate the death of a loved one or pet got enough attention in every age group. I actually found an interesting article detailing the history of Indian Tattoos here.

Over the past few decades, tattoos have inspired the Indian youth. The regional and spiritual beliefs though have been left behind.

The desire for making a statement or marking a memory will never allow the tattoo culture to fade away. The reasoning for getting tattooed has taken way more paths. Bodily art has become a fashion statement now. It has become a part of pop culture, where seeing the inking art is a path to express their beliefs, memories and their current phase of life. Tattoos are no longer just about identity and territory, it’s also a expressing your story in a creative way.

From the tribes of India, to pop culture, body art in India have come a long way. Tattoo culture is always seen as a combination of high trend fashion and ancient times

Do you have a tattoo? What’s the story behind it?

How Tattoos went from Indian Tradition to High Fashion #tattoos #cultures #indian #values #origins

 Sindhuja Kumar is a proud mom and a lifestyle blogger living in Connecticut, USA and origin from Tamilnadu, India. She is happily married and nothing excites her more than being a mom. She blogs to keep herself sane, more or less writing about positive parenting adventures, DIY Craft tutorials & scrumptious recipes that empowers every mom and woman to stay inspired and living an elegant life in a creative way. Check her work @ PassionateMoms.
Kindness - Aarav Singh

Kindness – Aarav Singh

My name is Aarav. I like Ninjago lego toys. I don’t like kids that bully me. I like to eat pizza, fries and mom’s green chicken. My favorite Indian festival is Holi. My favorite American holiday is Christmas. I will make the world a better place by recycling and helping friends.


Kindness is helping each other. In Ninajago Lego, Jai helps Kai jump to make Lord Garbadon fall. He throws Kai into the air and destroys Lord Garbadon’s fort. By doing that, Jai showed being a good friend to Kai. Good friends always help each other. It is important to be kind to because it is the right thing to do. 

Disciplining In Times of Online Video Games

Disciplining In Times of Online Video Games

Discipline. Specially in the times of video games and Nintendos is hard. Parental discipline varies throughout the world. What’s the norm for one culture is considered overly harsh in another. A study from 2010 from six different countries showed that the discipline techniques across various cultures tends to be most effective depending on what that area of the world deems as the norm.

With my own children, now 20 and 24, discipline styles differed between their father’s house and my own, my house being much more lax in discipline. Not to say that I didn’t discipline. Quite the opposite. The difference being, my style had strong communication at it’s core.

Personal Journey with Disciplining My Son

I reflect back to a time when my son was 11 and had been playing an online game at his father’s house. Once he got ahead in the game, my son had access to communicate with people from all over the world. I wasn’t happy in this particular phase. But I tried to figure out a way where all of us could be happy.

[bctt tweet=”I had to find a way to instill values in him while making sure I don’t take away his favorite hobby.” username=”contactrwc”]

I gave my son a host of rules and regulations on a handmade ‘contract,’ which he had to sign and agree to follow. I also told him I would be playing the game as well so I could keep up with his conversations with others and keep an eye on the activities.

A silver lining which I didn’t expect, was that it gave the two of us something to talk about. Something we had in common. Where many sons are pulling away from their parents, I was pleased that we were creating a bond and communicating more and not just about the game.

After a couple months of him and his friends playing this online video game, my son came home from his best friend’s house and told me he was unable to sign in to the game. What he didn’t know was that I was able to access a particular area of the game.  This allowed me to see any inappropriate conversations he had with other people in which he had been ‘reported’.

While he stood over my shoulder watching me access this area, he started to get antsy. What I discovered was that he was swearing at strangers and even in one instance, got into a conversation with someone where the topic of girl’s chest were being discussed.

I told him how sad it made me to see that he broke the rules. I told him I was extremely disappointed in the language he had chosen to use. In an effort to defend his stance that he did nothing wrong, he blamed it on his friend playing on his account. I called his bluff and said I would contact his best friend’s mother. I knew that she would want to be informed that her son was using such foul language.

I have to admit, the sheer panic and desperate pleas where almost humorous. I knew perfectly well, this was my son’s own doing. For more than forty five minutes, I simply and firmly expressed my disappointment in his choices. Finally, his shoulders slouched down in defeat and he asked, “Can’t you just spank me and get this over with?”

“No, as a matter of fact, I can’t,” I told him. I made him call his best friend to apologize for his poor behavior and he also was to apologize to his friend’s mom. For using such bad judgement with his inappropriate language, at her house and with her son.

Immediately after disconnecting the call, I turned to see my son was standing there with silent tears rolling down his face. We spoke about the circumstances for a bit more then I sent him to his room after grounding him from the game for for two weeks. I actually changed his password so he was unable to play.

A day or so later, he was laying on the living room floor watching TV. He told me his stomach really hurt. “Are you thinking about what you did?” I asked. He quickly sat up and asked, “How did you know!?”

I sat beside him and expressed my happiness that his stomach hurt. He looked at me with utter confusion. I said, “I’m glad your stomach hurts because that tells me that you now know that you have done something very wrong. If your stomach didn’t hurt, I would be very concerned that you hadn’t learned a lesson here.”

I reached out and hugged him. As I did, I whispered in his ear, “Do you think some ice cream might help your stomach, sweetheart?” The two of us went out to the local ice cream parlor and as we ate, I made sure not to bring up the previous day’s bitterness. The focus was now completely on the lessons he’d learned.

I know I’ve been far from perfect in disciplining my children, but it is these experiences which turned out to be the ones they still remember now that they’re young adults.

Now getting back to the 2010 discipline study, what was found was that in all six of the countries included in the study, the more harsh the type of discipline used in an attempt to correct poor behavior, the more aggression, anxiety and other problematic behavior was left in it’s wake. I feel we can all learn something as we read through this important study.

So no matter what your culture’s norm, try taking a breath. Muting our own reactions to our children’s poor behavior, is said to improve our results. What do you find works during disciplining? Specially, in this digital age.

How To Discipline Kids IN The Times of VIdeo/Online Games #onlinegames #videogames #discipline #parenting

Janie Saylor is a professional certified coach with a degree in psychology, her focus is in the emerging field of positive psychology. Janie is the mom of two grown children, her son, age 20, and her daughter, age 24. Being the mom of a recovering addict and an advocate for addiction and recovery, also brings a new dimension into Janie’s writings and life experiences. In 2006, Janie published a book, “The Road You’ve Traveled, How to Journal Your Life,” which came from her experiences teaching life journaling to people over the age of 60 for 10+ years in many different communities in the Metro Detroit area. Janie’s used her experiences and education as she developed 8-week online coaching program and has had tremendous success in improving the communication, lives and relationships of her clients. You can contact her at >

Kindness - Radhika Goyal

Kindness – Radhika Goyal

My name is Radhika Goyal. I am in First Grade. My favorite thing to do is play outdoors and art. My favorite thing is Ipad. Whe I play outside I like playing ball and hola hoop and bubbles. When I am drawing I draw happy things. I like going to Disney World. My favorite color is blue pink and purple. My favorite food is sambar rice. I am 6 years old.


Being kind is good. One way is to help someone when they are feeling sad. Another way is to share something. Another way that you can be kind is write a nice note to someone and give her a hug.


Kindness - Ailani

Kindness – Ailani

My name is Ailani. I am 5 years old. I like gymnastics and making people smile. I don’t like being bored. I want to be a gymnast when I grow up. My favorite holiday is my birthday!


I show kindness to my friends by making them smile and helping them when they need help. Being kind means sharing love and doing things that make people feel happy. My Mommy helps me with all of my business stuff and selling my candy bouquets.