Traditional Dress of Indian Women – 12 Aug 10


Yesterday I mentioned that you should take care of what you are doing in whichever country you are. That is true but I again would like to come back to the point of respecting and understanding different cultures. When you travel to a country that is far away and which has a different culture from yours, you usually prepare yourself for your journey and what you will experience. At least you try to get to know it a little bit although it is only possible to really know a culture if you have felt it from within.
If you come to India as a woman, you will get advice to take clothes that cover your shoulders and your knees. I wanted to start this topic by explaining how the traditional and common dress of Indian women looks like.

It is not like in some countries where women cover themselves from head to toe and in India women also do not only dress in black. If you have seen pictures of Indian women you must have noticed how colourful their clothes are. You can buy everything in hundreds of different shiny colours.

Indian women usually wear traditional Saris or Punjabi Suits. The suits, also called Salwaar Kameez, are pants with a kind of long shirt over them and a scarf, called Dupatta. So you have only the arms free and that only if it is a short-sleeved suit. Additionally you carry the Dupatta over your breasts.

The Sari is actually only a five meter long piece of cloth. For wearing it you need more: a petticoat and a Cholee, which is a short blouse. Nicely wrapped over the petticoat, around the body and over the Cholee, a Sari can leave a part of the back and the belly open. You can also wrap it in a way that it covers both, back and belly, that is according to you.

You see, shoulders and legs are usually always covered. This is how they are considered as sexy here in India. In bigger cities you will see it change already and many young women just dress casually in western style but they usually also know how to wrap a Sari for bigger events and occasions.

Tomorrow I will talk more about the attention that western women travelling in India sometimes get because of their clothing. Today however I would like to add that the food was sponsored by our friend Diana Vosyliute who has already visited our Ashram this year. We send much love to her for her birthday!

2 Replies to “Traditional Dress of Indian Women – 12 Aug 10”

  1. I have loved seeing all of the beautiful saris worn by the women in India. Though the streets are dirty and the air is often dusty, the women adorn themselves in beautiful fabrics and colors… whether they get dirty or not! I have enjoyed marvelling at the beautiful outfits.