Blue in World Culture
- In the English language, blue often represents the human emotion of sadness, for example, "He was feeling blue".
- In German, to be "blue" (blau sein) is to be drunk. This derives from the ancient use of urine, particularly the urine of men who had been drinking alcohol in dyeing cloth blue with woad or indigo. It may also be in relation to rain, which is usually regarded as a trigger of depressive emotions.
- Blue can sometimes represent happiness and optimism in popular songs, usually referring to blue skies.
- In German, to give someone a blue eye (blaues auge) is to look at them with anger or hostility. On the other hand, a person who regularly looks upon the world with a blue eye is a person who is rather naive.
- Blue is commonly used in the Western hemisphere to symbolise boys, in contrast to pink used for girls. In the early 1900s, blue was the colour for girls, since it had traditionally been the colour of the Virgin Mary in Western Art), while pink was for boys (as it was akin to the colour red, considered a masculine colour).
- In China, the colour blue is commonly associated with torment, ghosts, and death. In a traditional Chinese opera, a character with a face powdered blue is a villain.
- In Turkey and Central Asia, blue is the colour of mourning.
- The men of the Tuareg people in North Africa wear a blue turban called a tagelmust, which protects them from the sun and wind-blown sand of the Sahara desert. It is coloured with indigo. Instead of using dye, which uses precious water, the tagelmust is coloured by pounding it with powdered indigo. The blue colour transfers to the skin, where it is seen as a sign of nobility and affluence. Early visitors called them the "Blue Men" of the Sahara.
- In the culture of the Hopi people of the American southwest, blue symbolised the west, which was seen as the house of death. A dream about a person carrying a blue feather was considered a very bad omen.
- In Thailand, blue is associated with Friday on the Thai solar calendar. Anyone may wear blue on Fridays and anyone born on a Friday may adopt blue as their colour.
A man of the Tuareg people of North Africa wears a tagelmust or turban dyed with indigo. The indigo stains their skin blue; they were known by early visitors as "the blue men" of the desert.
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