After our first day walking around Kathmandu, Tony ended up with a tika on his forehead forced upon him by a “tourist sadhu” (a fake Hindu holy man) who wanted some money in exchange. All he earned was an annoyed glance from Tony after being involuntarily tikaed.
A tika is a sandalwood-paste dot marked on the forehead either just below the hairline (which in my case would be at the top of my head) or above the root of your nose. While they are worn especially for religious occasions, tikas can still be seen in everyday life. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Tikas can be circular, drop or diamond-shaped, pink or deep-blue, studded with rhinestones or glitter, and can be quite a fashion statement on their own.
Having said that, I also saw some less than attractive tikas during Dasain, Nepal’s biggest annual festival. They were rather large and 3-dimensional and looked more like bloody pigeon diarrhea. I bet Tony was happy, he didn’t end up with this huge pile of tika on his forehead.