Tattoos Around the World

As tattoos are slowly gaining acceptance and popularity among the majority of the U.S. population, it is interesting to note how widespread the appeal of this practice is becoming in other countries around the world. It is also interesting to consider how different cultures view this practice, and whether those views have changed over time as was the case with the United States.

Although it may seem surprising to Americans, whose main source of familiarity with Oriental symbols and other works of art comes from seeing this beautiful art, traditional tattoo studios across the United States due to the strong influence of Buddhist and Confucian religions both the Japanese and Chinese companies have a very negative view of tattoos. In these societies, tattooing was a way to qualify the crime, was not acceptable for citizens to participate in the process. In today's society, tattoos are unacceptable. Despite their younger generation usually has a more liberal view of tattooing, the young people who usually keep them covered.

Tattoos have long been part of the royal life in Britain. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors King George V and King Edward VII, one of the most famous real today, Prince Charles, also has a tattoo. Unlike in the distant past, however, tattoos in Britain are no longer limited to the class of royalty, in recent decades, tattoos appear in their rock stars has led to the practice population general. What was once a status symbol for wealthy public figures has become a large part of the daily life of the younger generation.

In Mexico, tattoos were originally intended as a symbol of courage. The first explorers who arrived in Mexico in 1519 believed that the practice is the influence of Satan. In a recent survey, over half of respondents were over age thirteen stated that they consider getting a tattoo. While most expressed a preference for designs such as flowers, religious symbols, or names, some said they would like a tattoo of their favorite brands of soda or beer. This is to assist in marketing to some extent, as many people in Mexico City now has tattoos to be a fashion accessory, not only generally accepted, but with style.

In Vietnam, tattooing is still currently illegal, and rarely done except in prisons. For those who insist on having some form of body modification in the light of the laws against tattooing, cigarette burns are used instead. It is rare that anyone other than the gang used the practice.

Considering both the Biblical prohibitions against tattoos and memories of the Holocaust still present, it is not surprising that most elderly people in Israel still holds a negative view of tattoos. It's a little surprising, however, that the younger generation not only do not always share this view, and in fact believes that the practice of getting tattoos of religious symbols to be a visible sign of pride in their Jewish heritage and identity.

In assessing the historical aspects and points of view today, it is not difficult to see that for many countries worldwide culture plays an important role in whether or not tattoos are considered an acceptable form of self expression. In most cases it is also clear that with or without cultural influences, times change and with changing times comes different ways of seeing the issue of tattoos. What took a long time to gain popularity in the United States has acted similarly in most other countries.

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