Why cant we wear Indian clothes to the workplace asks this article? Actually it is not just workplace, it is to a few other "hep" places as well. And no, please dont tell me that the kurta pyjama and bundgalla are the only traditional Indian outfits - these are preferred by politicians and theres a lot more to our attire than these two outfits. If you mean Indian clothes you got to go the whole hog from dhoti to veshti to topless men to what not!
Monday, December 28, 2009
But before we get there, how many of us wear Indian clothes except at cultural or religious functions? How many of us wear Indian clothes at home? Not many I know wear a veshti at home - shorts have taken over, in this generation atleast. And for most of South India traditional clothes mean just a towel on the upper part of the body for men. Perhaps it is comfort, perhaps it is a feeling of being too traditional, but I think for the most part Indian clothing is relegated to politicians, social functions and religious gatherings.
Also, connect it to how we see our culture in general. We are not the kinds who wear our culture on our sleeves. Why? One theory would blame it on education, but I would rather put it on people. Perhaps we see being modern as being away from "tradition". I know, I sound confused, but thats the state of mind as I try to explain it. And again, there is nothing right or wrong about it. One can wear shorts and respect culture and be traditional. And one can wear traditional wear and still have no clue about customs and traditions and culture. Surely there is a way to blend the two? (There surely is...) The connection between attire and respect for culture and tradition is tenuous at best.
But why cant we wear Indian clothes in the workplace? To some extent it is about professionalism, though I dont agree that professionalism originates in the clothes. Some of the biggest bigots in the corporate world wear ties and suits to work. And many bigots wear their culture on their sleeve and their traditional attire.
I would see it more as convenience and preclude our atrocious sense of carrying ourselves apart from a perceived need to look like each other...As usual disparate thoughts, which I need to collate, but in the meantime, thoughts?
Update: Do read this post by Chennaikaran on the same topic!