Why Do Indian Women Pierce Their Noses?

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Indian women typically pierce their noses as part of a Hindu religious tradition. Hindu women have their noses pierced around the age of 16, a culturally marriageable age, to honor the goddess of marriage.

Once an Indian woman is married, she does not remove her nose ring; it is a sign of being betrothed to another. However, this is a more traditional cultural norm. Today, many single Indian women pierce their noses simply for aesthetic purposes. This custom began in the 16th century during the rule of the Moghul emperors. Nose piercings originated in the Middle East, and have also been worn traditionally by some Muslim women.