Muslim woman traveling alone in India, any suggestions?

#1 Apr 18th, 2011, 05:36
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#1
Hello, I am a Muslim woman and i wear the hijab so it's obvious. I do have a lot of salwar and stuff as well (I plan to wear Indian dress while in India ). Anyway I was just wondering about religious tensions in India, especially Mumbai where I will be staying. Is there anything I should know before going?

I am a lover of all people. My best friend is a Hindu as are the majority of my close friends and all my roommates actually I have never seen any religious discource in our group obviously I am sure most people are fine but I have just heard from my friends about lots of problems between Muslims + Hindus and I wanted to make sure. My friends from Mangalore says there are often sort of riots that start between Muslims and Hindus and there ends up being a cerfew and stuff like that


Any tips?


EDIT: I am a foreigner but I will say that I am very familiar with Indian culture, and I can speak a bit of Hindi as well, so I don't know if that will make any impact. I don't want to do anything to offend anyone for sure, especially if it is over religion.
#2 Apr 18th, 2011, 07:45
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#2
Be normal, act like you do normally. Use common sense like you would do in any large city. Mumbai, Delhi,Hyderabad, Jaipur all have visible and sizeable number of women in hijab, full veil, women with head covered going about their daily lives..

Enjoy your trip.
#3 Jun 29th, 2011, 01:53
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#3
In a large city no one really cares about what you are wearing. But yes when you are wearing a hijab you are obviously telling the whole world about your religion. Unless you are caught right in the middle of a riot in a predominantly violent Hindu area (chances of that suddenly happening is extremely extremely remote), I don't think there is any reason for you to worry about.
If you walk around a large city in a hijab, no one will notice you.
#4 Jun 29th, 2011, 02:04
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#4
If you are wearing hijab or indian dress that itself reduces the chance of any trouble exponentially. (hijab wearing ladies are also mostly considered as a no-try zone for street guys).
Being a muslim should not face many problems as you are visiting a country with third highest muslim population, despite what the media say, the people are really not bothered of one's religion.
In short, follow general safety rules for women travelling alone in india(you will find a ton of threads of this topic in indiamike), and be relaxed on being a muslim.
“I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information” - Calvin
#5 Jul 8th, 2011, 04:09
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#5
*Lookingforadventure*

I'm hijabi too, and I had no trouble travelling alone (Bangalore, Hampi, Mathura, Delhi, Agra). I was sort of dismissed by people, but when they heard my accent people would be super curious and strike up a conversation.

There were times I felt discriminated against though, which wasn't a good feeling. In cases like that I asserted myself which very quickly gave the perpetrator a bit of a fright

All the best in your travels inshaAllah.

SS
#6 Jul 8th, 2011, 05:43
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#6
India has either 2nd or 3rd largest number of muslims in any country and you will find other muslims almost every where. I have even seen 2 women in bhurkas riding a scooter in Hyderabad. I think you will blend right in.
#7 Jul 8th, 2011, 07:07
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#7
I respect your religious ritual and its practice. On the other hand, if you desire to travel without drawing attention, travel without Hijab if possible.

I recognize upfront that this may be against your religious practices but you are lookingforadventure. Well, if you have to wear Hijab, go ahead, you will be fine.

The old cilche applies: While in Rome do as the Romans do.
#8 Jul 8th, 2011, 13:31
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#8
It might be completely irrelevant but saw a hijabed scooterist this morning in Calcutta. She had a little child in school uniform standing on the footboard infront.
I noticed carefully that she didn't have her naqab on !!!
#9 Jul 8th, 2011, 14:08
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#9
do'nt worry just enjoy your trip....
#10 Jul 8th, 2011, 14:20
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#10

No Worries

Hi,

To answer your queries in simple words -

Being a Muslim or Wearing a Hijab will not be an issue...
Being a Woman travelling alone might be little problematic in remote areas.. So beware about that. Travelling within a city like Mumbai will not be an issue at all..
#11 Jul 30th, 2011, 09:18
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#11
It would increase your safety to travel 'in disguise,' and fit in with your surroundings, its always best not to draw attention to yourself when traveling alone.
I'm sure many Hindus would not care that you are Muslim, but I have spoken to Hindus who firmly hate Muslims and will not be talked out of it, do bear that in mind.
#12 Jul 30th, 2011, 16:33
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#12


And you couldn't point to Brits who "firmly hate" anyone whose skin is not white? Would you suggest that that merits suggesting that anyone of any other colour, travelling in UK, should do so, "In disguise?"

Sure, just as I could find racism and intolerance in UK, I could find you haters of one religion or another, or haters of foreigners in general, here in India.

Despite the efforts of some politicians and terrorists, the majority of India lives with its neighbours. It's very unfair on India to suggest otherwise.
#13 Jul 30th, 2011, 17:09
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#13
When did women wearing hijab/burkha became an issue of concern in India?. A country with more than 150 million muslims, India is not new to Islam or its attire/customs/traditions etc. The sight of women walking on the streets with burkha/hijab/nikab is common in most of the Indian cities/towns and nobody bothers.

And why is this thread in "Scams and Annoyances in India"?

Quote:
And you couldn't point to Brits who "firmly hate" anyone whose skin is not white? Would you suggest that that merits suggesting that anyone of any other colour, travelling in UK, should do so, "In disguise?"
#14 Jul 30th, 2011, 19:23
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#14
A young woman in London may walk around in daytime with a short, comfortable skirt and blouse. This is considered normal attire here, and nobody would pay much attention. The same young woman would not want to dress like that in Delhi, as it would draw unwanted attention. So it's best for a female traveler to dress in a way that doesn't draw attention when visiting India.
The police here in Britain are generally quick to respond to a call from a woman in distress. India has an incredibly corrupt and inefficient police force and judicial system and if they were to actually respond to a call from a woman in distress, they might add to her distress. A traveler can't rely on Indian police for protection. So it's best to not dress in a way that might give rise to confrontation and lead to police involvement.

Maybe this article can simplify things for you and prince09. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...d-mumbai/7179/
Notice the part that says 'hundreds of Muslim women were raped, more than a thousand were killed, and 200,000 were made homeless.'
#15 Jul 30th, 2011, 20:15
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rishikesh08 View Post A young woman in London may walk around in daytime with a short, comfortable skirt and blouse. This is considered normal attire here, and nobody would pay much attention.The same young woman would not want to dress like that in Delhi, as it would draw unwanted attention.So it's best for a female traveler to dress in a way that doesn't draw attention when visiting India.
Likewise, one should wear what is considered as "normal" attire according to the local cultural mores. While wearing short skirts is considered normal in london, it is NOT in delhi(i.e most parts of delhi) but wearing burkha/hijab is considered "normal" in delhi and all of India, and it certainly wouldn't draw ANY attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rishikesh08 View Post The police here in Britain are generally quick to respond to a call from a woman in distress. India has an incredibly corrupt and inefficient police force and judicial system and if they were to actually respond to a call from a woman in distress, they might add to her distress. A traveler can't rely on Indian police for protection.
Women wearing burkha/hijab won't be in ANY distress in India and they don't need to seek the help of police because of their dress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rishikesh08 View Post So it's best to not dress in a way that might give rise to confrontation and lead to police involvement.
Same as above!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rishikesh08 View Post Maybe this article can simplify things for you and prince09. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...d-mumbai/7179/
Notice the part that says 'hundreds of Muslim women were raped, more than a thousand were killed, and 200,000 were made homeless.'
Ah..what a wonderful article!

You have conveniently quoted the sentence which suits your argument while leaving out several fallacies in that article.

Just to give an example of one blunder in the article..

"With this background – and I have provided only the most rudimentary chronicle – the immediate result of the Mumbai terror attacks will be a further hardening of inter-communal relations within India. The latest attacks will also increase the likelihood that in national elections slated for early 2009, the result will be a BJP-led government, as Hindus, who comprise the overwhelming majority of Indian voters, take on another layer of insecurity"

That prophecy in bold did not materialize, and nor were the relations between hindus and muslims strained after the mumbai attacks. The tensions between these communities are not any worse than anywhere else in the world.

The author of the article(and you may as well) need a crash course in Indian subcontinent's history for the last thousand years.

To say anything more than this is beyond the scope of this discussion and waste of time.

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