#1 May 23rd, 2004, 12:47
Join Date:
Dec 2003
India !
  • beach is offline
The tradition of wearing Turban (Pagri ) in India is as old as its civilization. It has its roots in the cultural-religious planes. Just like the cloth fashion Pagris also underwent change with time.

Like the cloths, different types ofPagris are worn at different occasions. Also it denotes the caste, class, profession, region etc of the people who are wearing it. The one worn in Rajastan is different from the one at Madhyapradesh. So is the difference between the one worn by a farmer and a carpenter.

It was probably equivalent to the current day identity card we hang around the neck with name, status, organization etc written on it!

Probably for one community it is more of a religious symbol and for another it is a status symbol. There are any number of communities who donít wear Pagris on a daily basis. But when it comes to the special occasions like marriages etc they wear the designated Pagris .In a home it is not difficult to find a grandfather wears the Pagris where as younger ones are not. Probably the older generation wears it as this depicts the authority and status in the society. In that way it is difficult to make out the caste or class or profession of a person at a public place. And it (not wearing Pagris) was treated as disrespect probably a few generations ago.

The Pagris can be of any length of a plain cloth from 82feet to a few feet. Just like the dress code, there is a Pagris code. Exchange of Pagris is an important cerimoney in a marriage. This depicts the start of a new relationship. Removing Pagris is a gesture of seeking forgiveness.

The type of Pagris in design vary from the huge jewel decorated ones worn by the kings to the small ones worn by the peasants.

Generally those who wearPagris in the current age are people who value traditions or the villagers (for the same reason).But the case with the Sikh community is slightly different. Itís an integral part of the religion itself, though you may find religious Sikh youngsters who donít normally wear the headgear.

People generally donít wear white except the very elders. In Rajastan (the place of the most colourful Pagris) alone, there are more that 1000 types of Pagris in use! A regular one can cost anywhere from 50rs to 1000rs or so. It is mainly cotton but you can find all variants from silk to muslin. Warning can take time from a few minutes to half and a hour. Yes, much more difficult than wearing Sari.

There was this newspaper cartoonist in UK who said ď The crowd doesnít look compete until I draw a Sikh turban somewhere among the many heads!Ē
#2 May 23rd, 2004, 12:59
Join Date:
Jan 2004
Hong Kong
  • volga_volga is offline
thank you beach for an informative article. for a talk on the Sikh's turban (which I found useful) see this thread

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