Oftentimes, there are misconceptions about different Asian traditions, holidays and fashion within the Asian community and they are misused without us knowing about it.

Fashion & Accessories

Henna tattoos are frequently put on at music festivals. What people might not know is that it is most commonly a wedding tradition among Muslim and Hindu brides. The bride’s arms and feet are embellished with symbolic designs that are meant to demonstrate the love and strength the bride will have in marriage. Other than that, it is worn to celebrate any special occasion. Nowadays, most people wear it only for its “aesthetic” look without knowing its background. There is also a misconception that applying henna is dirty and can be harmful, but that is completely untrue.

Turbans are an important part of the Sikh culture and worn by Sikh men. However, this religious tradition is frequently appropriated in the West. In 2018, Gucci’s models wore Sikh-style turbans while walking down the runway at Milan Fashion Week. Gucci did not include any actual Sikh representation among their models and did not take into account the religious and identity elements of the headdress, as well as the discrimination that many Sikhs face because of it.

The qipao is a traditional Chinese garment laced with symbolic meaning and not just a generic “Asian dress.” In the 1920s, Shanghai women created the modern version of qipao dress, a then-contemporary signifier of elite fashion for Chinese women, who would often pair it with Western heels and accessories. It became a symbol of women’s liberation in China. In 2018, white American teenager Keziah Daum appropriated the dress and wore it to her high school prom, diminishing its historical and cultural significance.

The bindi is a forehead decoration worn by women in South Asia. It comes from the Hindu culture and religion and most commonly represents a married woman. The bindi is also said to be the third eye in the Hindu religion and can be used to ward off bad luck. However, people (and even celebrities) wear it because it looks exotic and tries to be trendy. In ‘Family Guy’, there is one scene where Peter Griffin asks his neighbor whether he uses the “red button” on his wife’s forehead as a remote control to shut her up, going to show the ignorance and misuse of this aspect of Hindu culture.


Holi is a religious festival that celebrates the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Its origins are firmly rooted in the sacred texts and traditions of Hinduism. However, organizers of popular events and festivals have commercialized it and watered down its essence to turn a profit.

Ramadan is the holiest month of Muslims and there are many religious practices associated with it, such as fasting and worship. Muslims abstain from all food and drink during the daytime and use pre-dawn and post-dusk periods to drink water. It is also believed that the Quran (Islam’s holy book) was revealed during Ramadan.