Nose piercing began in Indian Hindu culture in the 16th century when Moghul Emperors introduced the practice. When, and how, a Hindu woman wears a nose piercing may signify important aspects of her life.
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Piercing in Girls
Girls as young as 5 years old get nose piercings in India, depending on local custom. Nose piercings are generally marks of beauty and social standing and/or to honour the goddess Parvathi.
In Ayurvedic medicine, piercing the nostril is believed to help women with menstruation and child birth.
On a woman's wedding day, the nose piercing becomes a significant indicator of this major life event. The nose stud is replaced with a nose ring, or a Nath, which is hooked by a chain to the bride's ear or hair.
On a woman's wedding night, the groom removes the Nath as a symbol of the woman's ending virginity. Even modern women who do not have a nose piercing will often wear a clip-on Nath for the wedding ceremony and its ritualistic removal.
A married Hindu woman will often wear a nose piercing of some kind until she is a widow. Once her husband dies, she permanently removes the jewellery.
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