It is a well established fact that the West is mesmerized and fascinated by the Indian culture and vice versa. Not that they follow us like we tend to do, but their interest about our history and culture has always made me feel proud of the country I live in.
A new trend in body art has been emerging over the last few years among celebrities in the West. Tattoos in Hindi and Sanskrit. Whether or not they know the meaning of the words, the language has certainly piqued their interest. And why shouldn’t it? Sanskrit is a profound language.
So we bring to you our top picks of celebrities sporting Hindi/Sanskrit on their skin.
1- Rihanna – Quote from Bhagwad Gita 10.4-5
Rihanna had a verse of the Bhagvad Gita tattooed on the right side of her waist down to her leg. What made this tattoo infamous, however, was that it was apparently a misquote as many Hindu scholars went on to fervently point out.
Small wonder they were angry. Must have been a drag looking at pictures of Rihanna’s bare legs.
2- David Beckham – Victoria (his wife’s name)
One of the more clichéd declarations of love, David Beckham got the name of his wife Victoria tattooed on his arm in Hindi. A fuss was raised over the name being spelled incorrectly, an embarrassing blunder on the part of the artist to be sure. But instead of having it changed, he kept it as is. Legend.
3- Angelina Jolie – Pali script on beauty
To mark the occasion of her son Maddox entering her life, Angelina Jolie got this tattoo on her left shoulder blade which is written in the Pali script. It translates to this:
“May your enemies run away from you.
Your beauty will be that of Apsara
Where you may go, many will attend, serve and protect you, surrounding you on all sides.
If you acquire riches, may the remain yours always.”
4- Vanessa Hudgens – Om
Her tattoo might be not be uncommon, but the style certainly is. When the former Disney princess presses her hands palm-to-palm, a namaste , the word Om is formed. Her reasons for the unusual placement of the tattoo was that she wishes to spread positive energy and to center it upon herself.
5- Katy Perry – AnuugacchatuPravaha
While dating Russell Brand, she decided to go along with the British actor to get a tattoo of Anuugacchatu Pravaha along her right bicep which means ‘go with the flow’. Painful reminder or warm memory. Who knows?
6- Russell Brand – AnuugacchatuPravaha
The same as Katy Perry’s, the phrase ‘Anuugacchatu Pravaha’ is tattooed along his right arm.
We already mentioned Katy so it might feel repetitive, but to anyone familiar with the two it should be clear as day whose idea is was. If there’s one phrase that summarizes Brand, it would be go with the flow.
7- Miley Cyrus – Om
Known predominantly for her unusual antics and outlandish videos, Cyrus too joined the Sanskrit tattoo club when she had the word Om tattooed on her wrist.
8- Tommy Lee – Om
Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe too has a tattoo in Hindi. The symbol Om features, once again, is written right below his belly button. However, the contrast of the connotation associated with the word and Lee’s own persona makes it a noteworthy addition.
9- Brittany Snow – Abhay
Thankfully not followed by the word Deol. The Pitch Perfect star known for her typically good-girl roles, Brittany Snow has the wordAbhay meaning ‘one without fear’ tattooed above her ankle.
10- Jessica Alba – Padma
The word you see tattooed on Jessica Alba’s wrist here is the Sanskrit word Padma . It translates to lotus which symbolizes the beauty of one who has risen above the distractions of life, just as the lotus floats above the murk of the lake below it and still remains a thing of beauty.
11- Alyssa Milano – Om
Not the most creative tattoo we’ve ever seen, the word Om is inked just below the nape of the neck of the Who’s The Boss star. Alyssa Milano has often spoken about her spiritual beliefs and the word Om apparently has a deep personal significance for her.
12- Kimberly Wyatt – Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu
The Pussycat Dolls singer has a Sanskrit tattoo on her neck which translates to this.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom of all.
Interestingly enough, she chose to have the tattoo written phonetically in the English script.
13- Gillian Anderson – Unknown word in Hindi
The idea she had was to have a word in Sanskrit tattooed on her wrist. What she got instead was a word in Hindi the meaning of which she does not know. Reportedly, she is often approached by Indians who ask her what it means to which she never has an answer.
14- Adam Levine – Tapas (pronounced: tá-pus)
The word Tapas features above Levine’s left pectoral. When asked the meaning of the tattoo, he said that it meant inner fire or determination towards Yoga or any other practice. While the world has different meanings in different contexts, but to Levine it’s about his own determination.
15- Theo Walcott – Om Namah Shivay
A heart-warming dedication to his family below his right hand.
“Beautiful, Blessed, Strong, Intelligent”, dedicated respectively to his sister Hollie, his father Don, his brother Ashley, and his mother Lynn are the words tattooed on his wrist. This is a side of Theo we don’t really get to see on the pitch and as an Arsenal fan I wouldn’t mind if we did.