What Do The Colors You Wear Mean In Different Countries?

by Lindsay Shapka in , , , ,


Did you know that your clothing is sending a message?

When you are traveling and meeting new people, first impressions matter — we determine whether people are trustworthy, attractive, friendly, and even intelligent by the way that they look every single day.

But what if you could manipulate the impression you are putting out there based on the color that you are wearing?

Well, guess what? You can.

We all make snap judgments about other people based on what they are wearing, but a lot of that could be based on the color of their clothing — whether you realize it or not! And, the meanings change depending on what country you are in!

To help you pack for your next trip (and make sure you aren’t sending the wrong message), here are the various meanings behind different colors.

What Does Red Mean?

  • In Western cultures, this is the color of passion, love, fire, energy, aggression, action and danger. It is an intense color that draws people in and conveys a bit of mystery.

  • In Russia, red is associated with communism and revolution.

  • In Asian countries, this color represents prosperity, celebration, good luck, and happiness.

  • India associated red with purity and spirituality — brides in India wear red, as do brides in Nepal.

  • When used with white, it is a color that represents religion in Mexico.

  • In some countries in Africa red is associated with death.

  • It is considered lucky or to mean good fortune in Egypt and Iran.

What Does Blue Mean?

This is considered to be the safest color choice, as for the most part it is associated with positivity!

  • In North America and Europe, this color evokes a feeling of sincerity, trust, wisdom, and confidence. It is the color of the sea and sky and has a calming effect.

  • In the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece, it is associated with healing and evil repellence you (if you have travelled in any of these areas you have probably seen the blue, eye shaped amulets meant to repel evil).

  • It is associated with good health in the Ukraine.

  • In Indian culture it is the color of Krishna, who embodies love and divine joy.

  • Blue is a feminine color in China.

  • In Central and South America, which has a high Catholic population, it is associated with religion as it is the color of the Virgin Mary’s clothing.

What Does Purple Mean?

  • In most of the world, purple is considered a royal color that conveys power, wealth, and extravagance — think royal robes, rockstar’s clothing, buddhist monk’s robes, Catholic priest’s robes. It is associated with dignity and wisdom —the Purple Heart in the American military.

  • In Thailand and Brazil, purple is associated with pouring and death.

  • In Tibet, a lighter shade of purple is considered sacred and so rosaries are often made from amethyst.

What Does Orange Mean?

  • In the United States, orange is associated with energy and sunshine, autumn, harvest, and warmth — full of enthusiasm and happiness.

  • In Hinduism saffron (a soft orange color) is considered auspicious and sacred, and so is usually the color of monk’s robes.

  • In Japan, orange represents love and courage.

  • In the Netherlands orange symbolizes the Dutch Royal family, and is also associated with their sports teams.

  • In the Middles East, this color is associated with mourning and loss.

What Does Yellow Mean?

  • In North America and most of Europe and the Middle East, because yellow is the color of sunshine, it is associated with joy and happiness. But, while warm and attention-grabbing, it is also considered a childish color that evokes instability and spontaneity rather than stability and safety.

  • In Germany, yellow represents envy.

  • Because members of the ruling class tend to wear yellow in Eastern and Asian cultures, it is considered sacred. This is similar to many African countries where only people with high rank in society wear yellow.

  • India considers yellow to be the color of commerce.

  • In Latin American countries, yellow is the color used in mourning.

What Does Green Mean?

  • In the West, green is calming and a symbol of nature promoting the idea of growth, freshness, and fertility. Darker greens are associated with money, banking, and power. It can also be associated with jealousy.

  • The color is emblematic for Ireland aka “The Emerald Isle.”

  • In Eastern and Asian cultures is can also represent new life and nature, but it also has negative connotations. It is the color of exorcism and infidelity — in China wearing a green hat means that you have been cheated on!

  • In Mexico, green represents independence.

  • Green is traditionally associated with Islam in the Middle East

What Does White Mean?

  • In the West, this is a color associated with goodness, innocence, cleanliness, and purity, this is the color of perfection. It is also a color used to represent new beginnings, like at a wedding.

  • In Asian countries like China and Korea, white represents death, mourning, and bad luck,

  • In Latin America, white represents peace and purity.

  • In Egypt, wearing white shows that you are of a high-ranking status.

What Does Black Mean?

  • In North America and Europe, this is a very mysterious color. One the one hand, it is associated with death, mourning, and evil. But on the other, it represents power, elegance, sophistication, strength, and prestige.

  • In the Middle East it also can represent both rebirth and mourning.

  • In Africa it is a symbol of maturity and masculinity.

  • In China, black is the color that represents masculinity, wealth, and prosperity.

  • In both Thailand and Tibet it is associated with evil.

  • in Latin America it is also a masculine color and is linked to mourning.

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WHAT DO THE COLORS YOU WEAR MEAN IN DIFFERENT CULTURES?
WHAT DO THE COLORS YOU WEAR MEAN IN DIFFERENT CULTURES?



Popular English Idioms and Their Curious Origins [Infographic}

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


the origins of popular idioms.jpeg

(See the full infographic below!)

If you’ve ever studied abroad or travelled to destinations with the intent to absorb as much of the culture and language as possible, you’re well aware of how difficult it is to learn the intricacies of each spoken word and phrase.

All languages have their own unique phrases and idioms, often derived from local or cultural customs, historical events, important figures, or religious traditions, that don’t have a direct translation. There are approximately 25,000 idioms in the English language alone, all of which have been widely adopted in everyday conversation. We often use these phrases liberally without understanding their root or original context. Some of these idioms were quite literate all the time they were conceived, making their origins that much more interesting to study.

Invaluable created this visual that outlines the origins of some of the most common English expressions, the countries in which they came from, and how we use them in our everyday speech.

Check it out, and become a little more aware of the words we speak everyday!

English Idioms Infographic
Popular idioms and their origins
 



The World's Most Impactful Books To Add To Your Reading List

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


Words ignite ideas, and they breathe life into the world.

Those same words come together, and with a stroke of a pen, they bring people books. Books have a lasting impact because they spread remarkable thoughts like wildfire. People read them, and their impact is spread all over the globe. 

From the Torah, written before 1000 CE to The Da Vinci Code of the early 2000s, books stretching between time periods spread hope, direction, and truth to people, while also sparking both controversy and discourse.

These powerful books question political thought, scientific research, and faith, and their literary and philosophical themes are a reflection of each unique writer. 

Sun Tzu wrote his battle theories in The Art of War,  Stephen Hawking explained his views of reality through The Brief History of Time, and George Orwell illustrated his haunting vision of a dystopian society restricting the freedom of thought in 1984.

To celebrate books that have made the largest impact, Largest put together this list highlighting some of their favorites through time.

These works should be on everyone’s must-read list. Crack open the pages and enter a deep, intimate conversation between a select group of leaders and revolutionists of life. Prepare to absorb yourself in their view of the world!

Check out the infographic below at click the link at the end for a deeper dive into each book.



books that made the largest impact

Read more details about each book here. Happy reading!

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the most impactful books in history
the most impactful books in history


15 Spooky Folktales, Creatures & Objects From Around The World [Infographic]

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


Telling spooky and scary stories has long been a part of human culture. We’ve been telling all kinds of stories since our most distant ancestors drew rudimentary pictures on cave walls, but the most intriguing tales are the ones that raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

We are universally fascinated with the macabre — this is one of the reasons ghost stories are so popular. Have you ever found yourself drawn to a horrifying or thrilling movie even though you don’t like to be scared? As humans, we have an innate morbid curiosity.

This near obsession with dark legends can be seen in chilling folklore that exists in different cultures across the globe. Especially captivating myths have even extended across cultures, like El Chupacabra and the Headless Horseman. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool — it’s impossible to keep such eerie tales to ourselves.

What’s more, some creepy objects are said to be cursed, usually causing harm or death to those that come into contact with the item. Spooky paintings are credited with fires and mortality while ancient objects are believed to be cursed.

If sinister fables pique your interest (as they naturally should), check out the spooky infographic below that Invaluable created showing 15 ominous folktales, creatures, and objects from around the world.

Spooky folktales, creatures, and objects from around the world
Spooky folktales, creatures, and objects from around the world

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Spooky folktales, creatures and objects from around the world
 



Traditional Temporary Tattoos: The Art of Henna

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


I have always been intrigued by the art of henna  — I've gotten a flower, a swirl, or a nonsense design put on one of my limbs more times than I can count while wandering a local summer festival, or hanging out at the beach. 

What I didn't know was the history behind the art, which is something that I discovered recently when chatting with a local henna artist (and a bit of research after the fact) while she drew a beautiful design on the back of my hand. 

Henna has been used for more than 5,000 years to dye skin, hair, fingernails, and even fabrics in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. The act of giving intricate henna tattoos is called Mehndi and is traditionally only done on women — never men.

Why henna is not drawn on men

According to the artist I spoke to, these intricate designs are usually applied the night before (sometimes a few days before) a women's wedding day. The elaborate designs cover her hands and feet (often up to her knees and elbows) and tradition goes that as long as they stay on the skin the women does not have to do any housework.

It isn't until the dye disappears that the new bride steps into her new role as a housewife. 

Don't worry though guys, here in the Western world, the rules are a bit different. It is completely ok for you to give henna a try. The artist I met told me that she often gives men tribal or sun designs on their arms or backs. 

And, in some hot desert cultures, both sexes use henna, not for its beautification factor, but its cooling one. Apparently soaking your hands and feet in a paste of henna helps to cool down your core temperature. 

The henna paste goes on black, but dyes your skin a brownish-orange color if left on for at least 5-7 hours

What is henna?

The leaves of the henna plant are crushed and mixed with different oils in order to make the creamy paste that is applied to the skin. My artist used eucalyptus oil and cloves (which left my hand smelling like a spa for the rest of the day).

When applied the paste looks dark brown or black, and stays on the skin until it flakes off naturally (between 5-7 hours), or — in my case — you have to rub it off before you go to bed so you don't wake up with a henna-tattooed face. 

My henna tattoo once the paste was rubbed off.  

This natural dye is completely harmless, and does not discriminate (it works on all skin types).

It works best on the hands or feet, and lasts anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on the type of henna used and how you take care of it (for example if you exfoliate the tattoo every day it won't last as long).

Oh, and it will leave tan lines, so if you lay out in the sun with your tattoo exposed, you will extend the design's shelf-life a little longer. 

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The art of henna
 


Banned Books In The USA: Top Books Banned By Genre + Why They Are Censored

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


As soon as a book becomes banned, people all over the world want to get their hands on a copy to find out what the latest "controversial" novel has to say.

More often than not, they are disappointed as the content of the book seems a lot less shocking than something that you would see on TV on an average night. A few curse words are sometimes all it takes to ban a certain book from the average school.

What makes a book being banned so interesting is what it says about the people, place, and time period that thought it was bad enough to be banned. 

Using data from the ALA — the American Library Association — Invaluable has curated a list of the top books banned organized by literary genre that they've turned into an awesome infographic (below).

Check out the top reasons for banning books, the authors that get challenged the most, and what the three top offenders in each genre were banned for below. 



banned-books

The Infographic above was created by and posted with permission from Invaluable

Sources: American Library Association 1 ,2345 | The Guardian | The University of Tulsa | Writer’s Digest University | Banned Books Week | Unbound Worlds | Dallas News | Banned Library 123 | PBS 

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Banned Books In The USA
Banned Books in The USA