Symbolic Representation of Red Color among Muslims: Case Study of Rawalakot Village, Azad Kashmir

By Mohyuddin, Anwaar; Farooq, Mahvish | International Journal of Education and Management Studies, September 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Symbolic Representation of Red Color among Muslims: Case Study of Rawalakot Village, Azad Kashmir


Mohyuddin, Anwaar, Farooq, Mahvish, International Journal of Education and Management Studies


Red color is a symbol of happiness in manycultures. It symbolizes love, beauty and passion. People symbolize their perception with colorsbecause it actually interpretsthe conceptualization of people. The concept of being red has to be explained in terms of experiential concepts : this can be done in a way not undermined by the fact that "looks red" semantically contains "red" and without any circular use of the concept of being red. This might be called "the pure experientialist view" - "pure" because the no-priority view is a partially experiential view. But for brevity, we will call a view of this third type simply "the experientialist view"( Peacock, 1984). Red color has a specific cultural importance. People use it in different ways in celebrating theirjoys and events. Although it is generally associated with happiness, but at the same time it is also associated with danger and war also. "Both Arabic and English use 'red' to refer to blood, love, passion, anger, revolution, etc. Nevertheless, theydiffer in the context that the Arabic culture associates it with a negative meaning, i.e. 'death'. In the Arabic culture, the person who is going to be executed wears red color to refer to his punishment or the end of life. Whereas in English language, red has extended its meaning to a positive direction, such as with Santa Claus, who has a red costume, to mark the beginning ofaNewYearornewlife (Thomas, 2005). In addition to this, red also symbolizes Valentine's Day of love. It is also evident that both cultures also relate the meaning of red to the negativity such as anger or red eyes from the blood/fire. These two positive and negative meanings were developed through people's anthropology or perception of red throughout their culture or behaviour. Thus, it would be contradictory or confusing for red to develop the type of negative meanings which have evolved for red in Arabic and English".

In other words, it is unlikely for the same color term to develop contradictory meanings within a language.As it is the color of blood also. It is also prohibited in different cultures while in mourning or sorrow. In South Asian culture it is used in the wedding ceremonywhile, it is prohibited to wear at death ceremonies, etc.. In everyday life red color is used to show many concepts like red color in traffic lights is used to say "stop". While in art and designing it is used in bridal dresses to represent the traditional taste of people. It is also observed that people like to buy things which packed with bright colors like red etc.. It depicts the psychological effect of colors on choice.Colors also do have some religious importance as well. "The colors "mean" the powers of the gods. But they do not necessarily "mean" anything else. Nor are the colors a language in the sense of a set of symbols. They are a language that can be understood by the shamans, according to Eligió, but clearly he is not thinking of a language that can be learned and spoken by anyone, with or without shamanic ability"( MacLean, 2001).

The current study is significant due to analyzes the perception of people towards red color. This study will highlight the cultural importance of green color. The study will also show how people symbolize their thoughts in a specific color. It is significant to highlight that symbols present itself is as a sign, an object or concrete image which evoke an idea, a notion and feelings. The study is also important to show that color appears as an important element of the esthetic of living conditions and quality of life.

Literature review

Symbolic anthropology is the study of cultural symbols and how those symbols can be interpreted to better understand a particular society. Color symbolism in anthropology refers to the use of color as a symbol in various cultures. There is great diversity in the use of colors and their associations between cultures and even within the same culture. The same color may have very different associations within the same culture at anytime. …

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Symbolic Representation of Red Color among Muslims: Case Study of Rawalakot Village, Azad Kashmir
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