No right or wrong – Tattoos an age old way of self-expression

Be careful and not impulsive while getting under the needle, as you may be disqualified from getting into professions like, Military, Air Hostess or pursers, front office, law enforcement related jobs.

– Aparna Bhargava I [email protected]

Life gives us options, in the end we are our decisions and about always we are one sole decision away from changing our lives and its path, simply put, it’s what we choose.

STOP, while all this mumbo jumbo is correct. And makes intelligent thoughts to spark in our brains. It really does nothing for our lives. Options are great, but what do we do, so the key word isn’t option here, its DO. What is it that we do? In one of these doings comes a very interesting yet age old art of tattooing. For Indians its not new at all. My grandma had a tattoo on her hand just below her fingers and one on her forearm, One of them read the word, “Ram”. I never really asked her where she got it or how could she allow such a painful and prone-to-infection procedure to be done on her body and why she let someone DO this to her and did she have any other OPTIONS. I can only speculate what she would have said now. She would have said her parents got it done as it was a tradition and everyone used to get one, so it wasn’t her decision but one taken for her. Does it matter or not? To the world it just doesn’t matter but if we think of every person, with these tattoos, it becomes thousands of decisions being taken to DO this, make a tattoo with a partner’s name, a god’s name, for bravery, for belonging to a group, or for jewellery-like appearance. Would anyone in the urban world allow it? Yet, people are getting tattoos done. It’s called “Gudwana” which literally translates to shove, thrust or poke.

Tattoos symbolise various things for different people across India. Tribes in Nagaland and Munda Tribes in Jharkhand have tattoos for bravery. They are medals which you carry with you and after. Tattoos for devotion by Ramnami samaj have their whole bodies tattooed with name of Lord Ram. In Kuch, women have tattoos going from head to toe. Toda tribe of Tamil Nadu has these designs like Kolams or Ranjoli-like designs.  

Tattoos have been popular globally, and pictorial depiction has been a way of communications for time immemorial. Where did tattoo art come from? Probably the Greeks who tattooed criminals so that the branding could help people identify them. “Otzi the iceman” is supposed to be the oldest tattoo found till date between 3700 to 3100 BCE.

In India and in certain parts of the world, you need to be careful and not impulsive while getting under the needle, as you may be disqualified from getting into professions like, Military, Air Hostess or pursers, front office, law enforcement related jobs, Bankers and Teachers. While in some professions you can cover up the tattoo and but some are stricter and you cannot have a tattoo at all.  

Societal view of a tattoo especially in the west is still linked to criminality and carrier of disease, which is why all the professional limitation

Today, tattoos are still fascinating to some while some just can’t get ink done. In this increasingly monotonous world with everything available everywhere, one wants to carry or at least be reminded of something special to them which they want the world to see. Peer pressure, media, self-expression, decoration, body art why does one get a tattoo made? It’s an OPTION today.

It’s always our decision but it doesn’t matter. Unless we act on it. So go DO what you think is best for you! Congratulations! You are in a world where you can choose. I hope you choose wisely and live proudly with your decisions! 

Do respond and let us know if you have a tattoo and what’s your story behind it. Would like to cover some chosen few.

Writer is MICE professional, CEM Global faculty with International association of events and exhibitions, Texas USA, Ex Guest lecturer with Amity School of hospitality, formerly headed regional operations of Messe München, Hotel Management Graduate, PG Travel and Tourism, Certified in exhibition management.

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