Topper Tats: Sophomore’s appreciation for Hinduism inspires “om” tattoo

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It’d be quite the challenge to find someone who hasn’t ever heard of or come across the concept of “om”, whether it be in yoga class or in media or perhaps even while traveling abroad. “Om”, according to the Hindu scripture known as the Bhagavad Gita, is believed to be a sound that brings peace and harmony to the mind, body and soul of the being that utters it.

Many of those who are of the Hindu faith say “om” when they wake up, wear jewelry or garments adorned with the symbol, and incorporate the concept of “Om” in various other aspects of their life. However, sophomore Violet Charalambides took her appreciation a step further.

The neuropsychology major came across the concept of “om” as she was studying religions of the world several years ago, a passion and hobby of hers. It resonated so much with her that she decided to have “om” tattooed in traditional Sanskrit script on the back of her neck while visiting Cyprus, an island outside of Greece where her family is from, on her birthday in July of 2012.

“As I studied the concept, the symbol and meaning gave me a lot of peace; a kind of ‘zen’ feeling.” Charalambides said. “I felt that having a tattoo of it, especially near my head, would remind me of that peace.”

Charalambides credits her mother as having influenced her desire to explore foreign ideas and concepts.

“She raised me to strive to learn about the world–about other people, other cultures, and ideas that might not be familiar to me. Tattoo-wise, she’s always supported me in expressing things that have significant meaning to me through body art,” Charalambides said.

In fact, Charalambides’ mother has many tattoos herself and shares three matching ones with her daughter, including the “om” symbol on her ankle, indicative their close relationship.

Follow Grace on Twitter @GraceKerstetter