Strange isn't it how culture affects even the smallest things? Last year, during thanksgiving we spent a few days in Greece. There was a cab driver who was so happy we were from India because he loved old Indian movies. "Nargis," he said was a "beautiful, beautiful woman," as he kissed his fingers in appreciation. And then he said, "she wear olive on forehead. Very nice."
An olive? Ah, a bindi. A cultural approximation of something familiar (not surprising for a country where olives and olive trees are everywhere) with something foreign...an actress with a bindi on her forehead.
And I remembered that years ago, an American asked me about the bindi (one of my fave questions along with arranged marriage and bride burning..Arrrghhhh). "Why do they have something that looks like someone shot them in the foreheard?"