Fashion in the Indian subcontinent

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Pakistan is a conservative Muslim nation, so the dress code for women in the country can be rightfully deemed as something conservative. On occasions, sometimes totally opposite to this can be seen: women wear western clothes, or the sari, instead of the traditional salwar kameez, which is usually the fashion costume most visible on Pakistani women. It’s the most shocking thing, almost as if these women are not aware of their own country’s culture and the dress codes, which would be suitable for them.

Not every country in the Indian subcontinent is like Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan because these are moderate countries, with largely liberal cultures. What is perfectly alright for women in these four countries to wear, owing to their liberal social atmospheres, such as western wear (for women) can’t be extended to every culture in the world, irrespective of whether or not these nations are a part of the Indian subcontinent.

It is a very ignorant attitude demonstrated in Pakistani fashion, replete with what can only be observed as sheer disregard for conservatism, perhaps because other neighbouring nations are so much more rightfully modern than Pakistan, which may have pushed to such an extent of abhorrence of local fashion customs sometimes for the nation.

The sari is really meant for Indian and Bangladeshi women because the sari counts its origins to be in India, and it is the national costume of Bangladeshi women. Naturally, it is always something very grand, when the sari transcends cultures, and earns popularity amongst consumers of other cultures, as well, such as those in the West or the Far East. But this is not about that: this is about fashion in a country as conservative as Pakistan and that the sari is really not as conservative as the salwar kameez, where despite the combination of loose pantaloons + shirt, there is no concerns of a bare midriff like for women in the Indian subcontinent, who like to wear saris.

True, a level-headed approach to fashion regarding the kinds of western clothes that are suitable for Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan isn’t always demonstrated by Bollywood celebrities, even though Bollywood films do excellent work to picturize the cultures of these four nations, day in and day out. But it’s still a different kind of “fashion concept” because this occurs in a largely liberal country, where, like Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, western clothes, collectively, could almost be considered as the nation’s ‘second national costumes’.

It’s a very foolish episode and it’s detached from reality too, when Bollywood heroines wear shorts (paired with something that looks like a bikini) and dance around with total abandon in elaborate Indian sets, whilst filming for a Bollywood film. These four nations already provide more freedom to women, fashion-wise, than many in the Middle East do, even though many Middle Eastern countries are so much more affluent than India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan – there is absolutely no reason to portray such an unquenchable thirst for something that, as of now, truly belongs in the West, not the Indian subcontinent.

There is actually no sensible, observable reason behind portrayal of an alien culture – one that places fashion in an unreal corner. Since, great fashion examples exist in tenfold in these regions, anyways, the foolish individual decisions made by many Bollywood celebrities are great examples of nothing but just that – personal fashion choices of Bollywood celebrities, who, when it comes to fashion, aren’t good role models, at all, for the Indian subcontinent.

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