Monday, February 7, 2011

dupatta modesty

Some women opt to wear salwar kameez instead of saris.  In some ways, they are more practical.  Except for the matter of the dupatta.  These are the long scarf thingies that are pretty much mandatory if you want to be proper and modest.  But they are constantly slipping down or off and women have to readjust them all the time.  And if you are carrying a baby or toddler around, chances are, she's either yanking it off or trying to choke you to death with it.

I think the idea behind the dupatta is that it provides an extra covering for a woman's upper body.  There are many ways to wear them, and even just slung high around the neck is considered appropriate, from what I have observed.  This strikes me as strange because they is no actual "covering up" that is happening, as in this method, but I guess that is irrelevant...?  There are all kinds of ways to wear it, though: like this, or like this, or this, or any number of other ways

It seems that the general principle is simply that the outfit is not complete (and a woman is not modest) unless one is wearing a dupatta, but that otherwise the rules are pretty loose. This method is the one that cracks me up every time, though.  If nothing else, wearing a dupatta is certainly calling attention to a woman's chest.  To me, it's almost the equivalent of a huge sign around a woman's neck that is screaming, "Don't look, but there are BOOBS under here!"


  1. what about those poofy pants? i like them.

  2. Yes, I really like most of the clothing around here, including "dupattas." They LOOK great, they're just a huge pain to deal with.
    We Westerners should take some lessons on how to wear more flattering attire...
    Speaking of that, I still can't get over the different conceptions of "modesty." In Arab Muslim places like the one where I grew up, concealing curves is really important. But here it seems to be very important for women to um, show their feminine features. Not in a revealing-of-skin way, but certainly showing the curves.
    It's pretty. I like it. :)

  3. hey, do you think this has something to do with dominant religious imagery?