Yellow presents an interesting case. While I associate it with sunshine and cheerfulness, that was not its meaning historically. In Christian Europe and Muslim countries many centuries ago, yellow served to mark heretics or non-believers, that is, non-Christians or non-Muslims. The Nazis took over this practice in the twentieth century by forcing Jews to identify themselves with a yellow star on their clothing.
In the United States and other Western or Westernized countries, pretty much everything and anything goes these days. It doesn't matter that I'm not a Roman emperor; I can indulge my fondness for purple. We may consider black the most appropriate color for attending funerals, yet it has become ubiquitous for attending almost any other event.
I don't have answers to these questions, but they've got me wondering.
Question and Comments:
What colors do you favor? How do you know whether your preference is completely personal or culturally influenced?
What encounters have you had around color that were odd, embarrassing, or surprising?
What have you learned about color from living or traveling in other countries?