The Meaning of Color in Other Cultures

Color is a language.

It can say a lot about the room, company, and even us as people.. But what if you are unaware of what you are saying with the color of paint you choose for your home or business? Not fully understanding the meaning of the color you’re using can often lead to a room feeling off; guests in your home can feel uncomfortable, or people might even get the wrong idea about your business!

So before you pick a color to represent you or your business, take a look at what colors mean in different cultures around the world!

The Meaning of Color in Other Cultures


Blue is, surprisingly, a very neutral color choice! In Europe and North America, blue is associated with trust, security, and authority. although it is also associated with loneliness and sadness.

In the East, blue is connected with immortality. In fact, in India, the color is closely associated with the Hindu deity Krishna, who is known as the god of compassion, tenderness, and love . Overall, it does not have a very negative meaning, although some people associate blue with loneliness and sadness If you’re looking to paint a room blue, keep in mind that it can invoke feelings of calm and security – perfect for a waiting room or a guest bedroom!


While yellow is generally seen as cheerful, it has some negative significance in various cultures. In France, the yellow is seen as a sign of betrayal and weakness. In China, it is somehow associated with pornograpy.

But there are also regions and countries where yellow is seen as a positive color. In African countries and in Egypt, the color is associated with gold, and it is taken as a signifier of wealth and success. In ancient Japanese culture, the color is a symbol of bravery and wealth.

If considering painting a room yellow, keep in mind that it can revitalize creativity and energy, and could be great for an office or a kid’s bedroom!


Red is a very powerful color in Indian culture. It can stand for wealth, power, fertility, love, and purity. It is also used to signify an important moment in the life of a person.

In South Africa, red is used for mourning. But in Chinese culture, red can bring in prosperity and luck. This is why red is the color worn during New Year celebrations, weddings, and other important occasions.

A warm rust color can turn a boring kitchen into an exciting and revitalizing place to cook and entertain!


Green has shared meanings in various countries around the world, often associated with the environment and the military. In many Asian cultures, green is associated with fertility, new life, and new beginnings.

If you’re thinking of painting a room green, remember it is a very restful color for the eye: combining vibrant yellow and calming blue to keep everyone at ease. Consider painting your office green if you work in a customer-facing business!


The color purple is connected with fame, power, and wealth, and that is true across various cultures in the East and the West. This curious coincidence is probably derived from the fact that the dye used for achieving this color in ancient times was quite rare because it was derived from sea snails. Because of the rarity of purple dye, only rich and powerful people had access to it.

Try a lighter version of purple for a very restful color in your bedroom, without risking the “cold” feeling that deep blue can bring.


Orange is seen as a fun color in the West. In other countries like the Netherlands where it is the national color, orange is connected with wealth and power. But in the Middle East, it is associated with mourning.

Because of its energy and excitement, try painting your home gym a bright orange to help you stay motivated through the tough winter months!

These are the meanings of colors in the US and other countries around the globe. The next time you go to your local hardware store to pick up a bucket of paint, or think about redecorating your office space, remember to think about how you and other people will feel in the space. But more important than anything else- have fun!