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How Colours Are Differently Observed in Different Countries

For a very long time we are using colours to symbolise various things including our feelings and culture. Every country’s culture has different meaning for a particular colour that may vary from what it means in another country. Let us see how colours are differently observed in different cultures.


Red: Red in popular culture symbolises love and passion, especially in America and Europe. However in India red has different meaning. Red in Indian culture means fear, wealth, love, purity, marriage and beauty and many Indian women wear red powder in partition of their hair that symbolises her being married. In China it refers to love and fertility and they wear red during wedding. In many African cultures red means death and grief.


Yellow: It’s strange how a colour that makes us feel warm and happy can be a symbol of dark feelings. Yes in France yellow means jealousy, betrayal and weakness and during 10th century the criminals and betrayer’s doors were painted yellow. Even in Germany it symbolises jealousy.

In china colour yellow means completely different. It is associated with pornography. Strange isn’t it but like how we refer blue with pictures or films if you say yellow pictures in china you are referring to pornographic images or websites. In Japan it refers to bravery and wealth.


Blue: Blue colour has different meaning as in the western world it is a symbol of depression and loneliness. But in the US it also means trust and security which is why many banks like Citi Bank or Bank of America have blue logo.

Blue represents masculinity that’s why we usually associate blue with boys, but in China it is totally opposite as the colour is for girls. In Latin America where catholic population is high, blue is a symbol of hope and good health. In Hinduism many gods are associated with blue skin.


Green: Green around the world means almost same such as it is associated with environment, nature, ecology, military etc. In western culture green refers money, freshness, summer, greed and when combined with red it’s Christmas. In Ireland its national colour and represents luck and St. Patrick.

In many Asian cultures, green is the colour of fertility and new beginnings. But again China like every time has something different to offer and that is wearing green hat by a man is a taboo because it means his wife is cheating on him. Quite a good way to judge China!

In Hispanic culture, green means independence and is reason why Mexico chose green colour as their flag.


Orange: Orange in west represents fun, curiosity and creativity. In some countries it is associated with royalty such as the Dutch royal family. In Netherlands orange is the national colour. But in Arab countries, it is associated with mourning and sorrow.

In Japan and China orange means good luck, health and courage and in India saffron is considered to be very sacred and lucky.

By Rishabh Dwivedy

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