The significance of different colours may
vary considerably from one culture to another. For example,
in many societies, colours are often associated with emotions:
"to see red", "to be green with envy"
or "to be feeling blue".
Green, a popular colour in many Moslem countries,
is often associated with disease in countries with dense,
green jungles. It is associated with cosmetics by the French,
Dutch and Swedes and increasingly with an environmentally
Various colours represent death. Black signifies
death to Americans and many Europeans, but in Japan and
many other Asian countries, white represents death. (Obviously,
white wedding gowns are not popular in parts of Asia.)
Latin Americans generally associate purple with death,
but dark red is the appropriate mourning colour along the
Ivory Coast. And even though white is the colour representing
death to some, it expresses joy to those living in Ghana.
In many countries, bright colours such as
yellow and orange express joy. To most of the world, blue
is thought to be a masculine colour but it is not as manly
as red in the United Kingdom or France. In Iran, blue represents
a bad colour. Although pink is believed to be the foremost
feminine colour by Americans, most of the rest of the world
considers yellow to be the most feminine colour. Red is
felt to be blasphemous in some African countries but is
generally considered to be a colour reflecting wealth or
luxury elsewhere. A red circle has been successfully used
on many packages sold in Latin America. but it is unpopular
in some parts of Asia. To them, it conjures up images of
the Japanese flag.
(Source: D A Ricks, Big Business Blunders)