Sunday, March 6, 2011

Traveling Attire in India

India is a diverse country with varied climate and weather conditions. It is a country where lifestyle changes from one place to other. This is the impact of diverse culture which is ever evolving. The major difference can be noted in culture are in spoken language or dialect, food preferences and attire. 

Physical features are common though ethnic differences can be noted. Tribal and other ethic communities are more varied and distinct. People in Central plains and Deccan are look alike with minor differences.  Due to the size of the country an amazing diversity is prevalent. This is what is appealing about this land where landscape, people and weather changes by the distance.

Visitors from foreign countries as well as many locals are stunned by ever changing India. But in spite of differences people exhibit some common characteristic. The people of this country love age old tradition which they do not distance from even under the garb of modernity.

Hence tourist interested in assimilating with the people while on visit should first realize the local traditions. Wearing local dress is found to be more acceptable by Indians. Another benefit is revealing dress is avoided since some people are not used to it. Revealing outfit may invite a bunch of eve teasers which can be trouble some. 

There are dresses in local communities which are typically for men and women. While women have more covered up garb, men can wear scanty clothing in case of heat and humidity. The urban class in this land  has a common dress code i.e pant and shirt for men and sari or salwar kameez for women. Some women  and all young girls in cities wear jeans, t shirts and frocks. But older women prefer traditional garments especially if they are divorced of widowed. The wedding dress is rich embroidered or embellished with colorful motifs made of gold silver threads called Zari.        

In rural areas customary dress is very common and typical to the region. Hence every region or state in the country has its own traditional garb.  This applies to the whole sub continent - Pakistan, Nepal, Bangla Desh and neighboring island Sri Lanka.  People in states have distinct clothing choice especially in rural areas. 

The Indian clothing is highly colorful and embellished at times though instances of plain garb can be encountered especially among the poor or very conservative lot.  During festivals lot of dress styles emerge colorful, sparkling  bright and as vivacious as the occasion. Similarly in marriages gaiety of the event is best expressed by traditional  garbs - kurta pajama, sherwani, salwar kameez, colorful embroidered saree, lehanga choli and lungi. The latter is more popular in Southern India.  

In Northern India and Pakistan Shalwar Kameez is more popular. It is Like the sari this dress has crossed International boundaries and hence is available in stores in Dubai, UK, USA and other parts of Europe. The top rated fashion designers in Pakistan have glamorized this dress. 

The saree is popular all over India and appears in mind boggling  patterns, colors and designs. The fashion industry is burgeoning in the country. Hence traditions Indian Sari  & Suits are popular in many countries. There are many stores which sell these online. In many foreign countries shops keep fashion and traditional clothing from India. The traditional clothing with regional flavors are not available anywhere else. One can buy such garbs while on tour to that destination.   

Traditional garments in the sub continent compliment the society and are user friendly. They are weather compliant and soothing to the eyes of the locals. Hence you as foreign tourist will feel at home among the ethnic lots.   
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