What is acceptable (for women) to wear in Kerala?

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#31 Jan 5th, 2013, 05:10
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#31
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Originally Posted by anar View Post i wore a lungi to hyde park one summer - it was a hot day. once. the stares and attention i got was more than i could handle
Consider yourself lucky you did not get arrested for being indecently dressed, unlike Narayan Hemachandra, friend of a certain Mr Gandhi (http://www.academia.edu/2262696/HALF...rial_integrity, p.3.)
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#32 Jan 5th, 2013, 06:43
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#32
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Originally Posted by Mirjam2 View Post Well, I am sorry, this is not any more intelligent then European people laughing when seeing an Indian wearing jeans. .....but I do not understand why are you suggesting that non-Indians wearing Indian clothes look 'odd'.
I had a bad experience in Kodaikanal with two young Indian couples who pointed and laughed at me as I passed them on Coaker's Walk. I was wearing a kurti over my baggy cargo-type pants, nothing unusual. in fact, when they started their shit I looked behind me to see if they were pointing at someone behind me. they weren't.

needless to say, I went south side Chicago on their asses. they stopped. immediately. I truly hoped they thought I was a crazy American woman and would tell all their friends about me.

I was later told that Kodai gets a lot of young tourists who have lots of money and lots of confidence. this person thought that the people who were rude to me were the young smug newcomers to India’s middle class–software, call center types, trying to impress their girlfriends/wives. He said rather like the jaded Upper West Siders of New York sneering at the tourists in Times Square.
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#33 Jan 5th, 2013, 07:23
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#33
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Originally Posted by Sama View Post I had a bad experience in Kodaikanal with two young Indian couples who pointed and laughed at me as I passed them on Coaker's Walk. I was wearing a kurti over my baggy cargo-type pants, nothing unusual.
That's weird, I worked for an IT company a few years ago in Bangalore, and almost all women in the office (including very young ones) wore SK to work. I never got any stares or comments for wearing SK (or sarees) in Bangalore, but the few times I wore Western business dress, I attracted so much attention and comments that I decided to stick to SK. I have not been back to Bangalore for five years or so, maybe things are changing.

I know comments and stares are not a big deal, but I wonder how these 'cool' Indians who singled you out would feel if Westerners pointed and laughed at them, for example, for wearing jeans, or business suits, which are supposed to be 'Western' dress. I guess they would complain about racism. Anyway, life is too short to keep worrying about what other people think, the main thing is that you feel comfortable in your own skin.
#34 Jan 5th, 2013, 10:01
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#34
[QUOTE=Nick-H;1526572]I am glad I have better friends and live in a more polite city --- or, more likely, a city in which nobody cares!


QUOTE]

Nick I did not mean laugh out loud or point and make comments out loud. But people do think it looks odd, as for another poster claiming its the same as an indian wearing jeans not the same at all.

As for your comments about city and society you are probably right. Kerala is not very polite, if you are nice to people, some of them take it as a sign of weakness and try and take advantage.
Lord, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.
#35 Jan 5th, 2013, 12:15
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#35
"Be comfortable ... with your clothes, your look, your style."

exactly.
#36 Jan 5th, 2013, 20:51
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#36
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Originally Posted by JOHNLORD View Post But people do think it looks odd, as for another poster claiming its the same as an indian wearing jeans not the same at all.
If you think it's odd that is your own business; I find it hard to believe that all Indians think it is odd for someone to wear Indian clothes just because they are not dark skinned. Your attitude is a bit arrogant; if you are Indian, you look normal in both Indian and Western clothes, but foreigners look 'odd' in anything other than Western clothes - hmmm.

Why is it so different when Indian people wear Western dress such as jeans or business suits? I am sorry but I have to tell you that some Western people, who live in small places and are not well travelled, also think that non-European people wearing jeans and suits look 'odd', and they indeed make fun of them.

A personal experience: I visited my relatives in Eastern Europe accompanied by an Indian friend from London. My relatives could not understand how could she be wearing jeans; they expected every Indian woman to wear sarees, because they only ever saw Indian women on pictures before, and they wore sarees on the pictures. They thought that a 'native' wearing 'Western' clothes looked funny. I then showed them pictures of Indians in Western business wear, and they were laughing and making sarcastic comments.

So you think my relatives are ignorant, or at least close minded? Yes, they are, but I am afraid so are you if you think people look 'odd' in certain clothes because their skin colour does not match.
#37 Jan 5th, 2013, 23:30
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#37
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Why is it so different when Indian people wear Western dress such as jeans or business suits?
What could be odder than a Chennai man, in the Chennai climate, wearing a business suit? I don't laugh, but I do think it is ridiculous, and that his employers, who probably demand it, are even more stupid than London office managers who don't think anyone should change their dress code in a heat wave.
#38 Jan 6th, 2013, 01:40
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#38
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Originally Posted by Mirjam2 View Post all Indians think it is odd for someone to wear Indian clothes just because they are not dark skinned.
There are plenty of Indians who are not dark-skinned and no one giggles at them wearing salwar kameez. I don't think the point is foreigners are obliged to wear European clothes, a Chinese man in a changsham rated barely a glance in Bangalore decades ago. I think the point is white people playing dress up looks funny. If white people habitually wore pattu podavai, it would not rate a giggle. (I mean, it would make them look washed out and anemic but not giggle-worthy).
#39 Jan 6th, 2013, 02:03
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#39
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Originally Posted by kanaiyaazhi View Post ...white people playing dress up looks funny...
And that I think is the heart of the matter. When foreigners are doing it for a giggle, they look ridiculous and are something of an embarrassment. The few who look properly comfortable in local gear – in any country – are no more than a curiosity that is dismissed with a "Hmmph. Gone native."
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#40 Jan 6th, 2013, 02:14
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#40
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Originally Posted by kanaiyaazhi View Post I think the point is white people playing dress up looks funny. If white people habitually wore pattu podavai, it would not rate a giggle. (I mean, it would make them look washed out and anemic but not giggle-worthy).
The point is, there are non-Indian people (like myself) who habitually wear Indian clothes. Why is this so hard to believe? Just like a lot of Indian people habitually wear Western clothes (this was hard for my relatives to believe; they thought all Indians wore Indian clothes only).

I do not wear Indian clothes to 'play dress up', and I am sure there are many other non-Indian people in the same position. And I do not think I look 'washed out' in them; you just have to choose the right colours. By the way, people often assume I am Indian (Kashmiri), despite my blond hair, so I believe I probably do not look 'odd' in Indian clothes.
#41 Jan 6th, 2013, 02:26
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#41
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Originally Posted by kanaiyaazhi View Post There are plenty of Indians who are not dark-skinned and no one giggles at them wearing salwar kameez. I don't think the point is foreigners are obliged to wear European clothes, a Chinese man in a changsham rated barely a glance in Bangalore decades ago. I think the point is white people playing dress up looks funny. If white people habitually wore pattu podavai, it would not rate a giggle. (I mean, it would make them look washed out and anemic but not giggle-worthy).
i think you're just being downright mean.

i am north indian and i drew more than my fair share of stares whenever i wore a lungi on the streets of bangalore. the sad truth is most indian men are ashamed of being seen wearing traditional indian clothes - it's alright at home but never when they are out and about. and i'm not talking about the richie-riches - it's the aspirational young lower-class and middle-class indians who consider it backward, not modern, to wear clothes which are far better suited to the climate. the same indians who prefer to speak in mutilated english rather than a regional language we are all well-conversed in.
#42 Jan 6th, 2013, 04:40
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#42
Just remembered a story that happened to me. I bought a new saree in Wembley (London), and left it with a local tailor, asking her to make a blouse from the blouse piece. Later I did not have time to collect it myself, and asked a Gujarati friend to pick it up. She returned with the saree, laughing, telling me she checked it and saw that the edge was not locked after cutting the blouse piece. She pointed this out to the tailor, who said to her: 'it is for a foreign woman, she will not notice'. My friend told her to lock it quickly, because THIS foreign woman will definitely notice .
#43 Jan 6th, 2013, 10:49
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#43
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Originally Posted by kanaiyaazhi View Post There are plenty of Indians who are not dark-skinned and no one giggles at them wearing salwar kameez. I don't think the point is foreigners are obliged to wear European clothes, a Chinese man in a changsham rated barely a glance in Bangalore decades ago. I think the point is white people playing dress up looks funny. If white people habitually wore pattu podavai, it would not rate a giggle. (I mean, it would make them look washed out and anemic but not giggle-worthy).
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Originally Posted by hfot2 View Post And that I think is the heart of the matter. When foreigners are doing it for a giggle, they look ridiculous and are something of an embarrassment. The few who look properly comfortable in local gear – in any country – are no more than a curiosity that is dismissed with a "Hmmph. Gone native."
Thankyou, this is the point I was trying to make.

As for indians wearing sk and sarees in the uk, they do get stared at and comments get made, that is why i prefer my wife to wear jeans etc when in the UK.
#44 Jan 6th, 2013, 20:28
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When I wore a salwar kameez the last trip in India, I received many compliments on it. I wore it one day in Khajuraho and then again on the way home. The only person who seemed offended was an American man in the Newark airport. I don't know what his problem with the clothing was.

I was not playing dress up as much as I wanted to wear a beautiful, comfortable outfit. I liked that the women who talked to me appreciated that I was, in the words of one of the women, "respecting their culture".

I think salwar kameez are beautiful, and I'm happy that I didn't run into any Indians who took offense that I was wearing one.
#45 Jan 6th, 2013, 20:58
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#45
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Originally Posted by JOHNLORD View Post As for indians wearing sk and sarees in the uk, they do get stared at and comments get made
Sorry, this is simply untrue. When was the last time you visited the UK? Many of my Indian friends wear Indian clothes in the UK and there are no comments or stares. It is very normal for Asian people in London to wear Asian clothes. In places like Wembley, Whitechapel or Southall, most women wear sarees or SK. Why do you think there are hundreds of saree shops there? If you do not believe me, check 'Southall London' on Google Images.
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