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Old Oct 16th 2001, 5:05 am   #1
jrg
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Although I have been to India twice, I am returning for a third time as the guest of one of my friend's from unversity to his sister's wedding in Delhi.

It is a 10 day wedding with several formal night functions. I have received mixed message from my friends whether I should wear traditional indian wear, or conservative western formalwear? I feel that it is somewhat of a lose-lose situation, as if I wear indian wear I fear that people will think its inappropriate, or likewise with western wear.

Normally I wouldn't worry about this so much, as I realize it is a day for the bride and little attention will be focused on me. Realistically, however, I am a blonde haired, blue-eyed, petite american girl who, in the past, has drawn attention to herself in india. I want to look beautiful without unwanted attention that might result if I wear the wrong thing. Furthermore, it is really important that I make a good impression on his family, as there is a romantic history between he and I, and still a possiblity in the future.

Any advice on appropriate situations you have encountered would be greatly appreciated regarding this matter.

Thank you.
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Old Oct 16th 2001, 5:44 am   #2
Miguel Cruz
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While spending some time in India with an Indian and a white woman, we attended some
formal events and each time people took great delight in dressing the white woman up
in traditional clothes. I don't think it would be seen as inappropriate. Everyone at
the events seemed very excited. Granted, this was not exactly the Mumbai jetset, but
rather unjaded, nice people in smaller towns.

miguel
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Hit The Road! Photos and tales from around the world: http://travel.u.nu
 
Old Oct 16th 2001, 11:02 am   #3
A.Malhotra
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I can't imagine why anyone would think Indian style was inappropriate. My mother
(British) wore a sari for her own wedding to my father (Indian) and to my wedding (to
a British man) although she wears western clothes normally. Anyway, with several
functions, couldn't you have a bit of both? Surely your friend is most likely to know
how his family will react either way? Anita

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Old Oct 16th 2001, 9:00 pm   #4
jrg
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Default much thanks

Thank you both who responded. My fear that wearing traditional indian attire stems from one main reason: I have heard a lot of people voice the opinion that foreigners look ridiculous in sarees, bhagra cholis, and that only Indian women know how to properly "pull it off". I would love to be able to wear something traditional, as I think it is all beautiful and I think my friend would be very proud/pleased that I took the effort.

Thank you for your input.
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Old Oct 16th 2001, 9:20 pm   #5
Fogcitygal
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I can't speak for what your friends are telling you, but when I attended a Sikh
wedding in Delhi two years ago (half-Indian woman marrying American man), the
bride's family had a silk shalwar kameez made for the groom's mother. The bride's
mother (an American who lived in India for many years) loaned me her seamstress to
have two silk shalwar kameez made -- one for the wedding proper and one for the
party the night before.

Shalwar kameez are much easier for Western women to wear than saris. I find mine now
come in handy for fancy parties back in the States.

Nancy
 
Old Oct 17th 2001, 4:51 pm   #6
Chuckles
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jrg <forums@britishexpats.com> wrote in news:Y91z7.7558$cb.268970
@atlpnn01.usenetserver.com:

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This is true but it is nor relevant. On the street, it is ridiculous to see
foreigners stumbling along in poorly chosen and poorly worn local dress. But at
weddings, wearing a sari is a compliment to your guests. (Salwaar- kameez is fine too
but a sari is the ultimate compliment.) Middle-class Indian men, for example, who
never wear anything but western clothing 360 days a year, will often wear something
traditional for weddings and festivals. (On the other hand, in N. India, especially
among less sophisticated people, the bridegroom will wear a western 3-piece suit. So
it gets complicated.)

Make sure that what you wear is chosen by Indians. You probably don't know what's
right in saris, and you run the risk of being overdressed or underdressed. Remember
also that you will need a blouse tailored for you; do not believe those who say "buy
one ready-made" or "just wear a leotard". Indian tailors can make something in a
couple of days.
 
Old Oct 17th 2001, 5:17 pm   #7
D.
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jrg <forums@britishexpats.com>
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At my Indian friends' US wedding the white/midwestern American family of the bride
all dressed in Indian attire (as did all the Indian guests of course), as well as
many of the non-Indian relatives/friends of the groom, including the blond blue-eyed
women. In fact, at the Garba the night before, the Indian members brought trunks full
of traditional Indian clothes for the assorted guests who might want to wear them. I
was already in a dress and didn't think to change, but regretted it later, as
everyone looked so good! However,I'm not Indian, I do look so (another Indian guest
asked if I was the groom's cousin from India), so I'm sure no one would have thought
twice. I told another single Indian friend I want him to hurry up and get married so
I can plan to wear a sari next time

Unless your friend thinks his family would find it offensive, I would wear the
appropriate Indian clothes. If your not familiar with *how* to wear them, though, get
help from someone who is.
 
Old Oct 17th 2001, 7:16 pm   #8
Kathie
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jrg wrote in message ...
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I think western tourists usually do look a bit silly in Indian dress, but a wedding
is different and I'm sure would be taken as a compliment. Another poster has
suggested your outfit should be chosen by Indians - just 2 points of caution. Make
sure the colour really suits you as you're so different from Indian women - what they
think would look lovely (on them!) might be overpowering on you (and make you look
washed-out). And having a lot of Indian gold jewellery will probably be overdoing it
and may make you look like you're competing - simple western-style pieces will
probably look better on you and take you out of the contest (you don't want to
out-sparkle his mother.....!!)

--
Kathie
 
Old Oct 18th 2001, 2:43 am   #9
jrg
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Chuckles, I think you addressed a very important point. I have arranged to have one of my indian girlfriends take me shopping for appropriate attire. She has known me for several years and will hopefully pick things out that are not only appropriate, but well-suited for me as well.

For anyone who has worn a saree before (because I never have)is it really that difficult to walk in one gracefully? What are the necessary "tricks" in order to wear one? Are they more flattering for certain body types? I am a petite woman, but rather curvacious. Will my tiny mid-section get lost in all the fabric and just end up looking like a big log wrapped in beautiful silk?


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Old Oct 18th 2001, 9:31 am   #10
A.Malhotra
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jrg wrote:
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I find it impossible! I've only been persuaded to do it a couple of times (I was
brought up in India so had plenty of opportunities, and found it really took the fun
out the evening, being terrified of tripping over it and pulling the pleats out of
the waistand! Not to mention the difficulties of going to the toilet during the
evening! However, I am a fairly active person, used to striding around in trousers
and that really DOESN'T work in a sari: small graceful steps are required. I would
choose a salwar kameez any time over a sari. Another alternative, which is very
pretty, is a gagra choli: a long skirt and short blouse (Or short tunic, if you
prefer not to bare your midriff), and a long scarf (worn over the shoulders or looped
over the arms). It's now very fashionable in India, and you can get some gorgeous
ethnic-inspired ones with lovely embroidery which suits western tastes more than the
rather garish and glittery things that many Indians go for. I bought one in India to
wear for my own wedding in the UK this summer. It was very comfortable and looked
stunning. I can also wear it again as separates if I never get another occassion to
wear the whole outfit again. Mine was ready-made, bought at Tamanna in Bangalore, but
they also had a website (www.tamannaworld.com) which doesn't seem to work any more,
you might want to do a search for it. They really had some lovely stuff.

Anita
 
Old Oct 18th 2001, 3:15 pm   #11
Chuckles
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@atlpnn01.usenetserver.com>:

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Well, even though a sari+blouse bares your midsection, it is not a particularly
revealing garment. Many middle-class Indian women are flabby (as opposed to
curvaceous or athletic) and the sari is very forgiving. So don't expect your curves
to be well-displayed, but you won't look bad either.

PS You need a blouse, but you don't need to buy a sari. A borrowed one is fine
(borrowing is quite common). The blouse needs to be color-compatible with the sari
you will wear, however.
Just one (hyphenated) word: safety-pins.
As another poster said, do not take western-style strides; this will make you look
like a hijra (hermaphrodite). Indian women wear uncomfortable flat sandals without
straps so that they will not feel the urge to walk normally.
 
Old Aug 29th 2002, 9:27 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrg:
Although I have been to India twice, I am returning for a third time as the guest of one of my friend's from unversity to his sister's wedding in Delhi.

It is a 10 day wedding with several formal night functions. I have received mixed message from my friends whether I should wear traditional indian wear, or conservative western formalwear? I feel that it is somewhat of a lose-lose situation, as if I wear indian wear I fear that people will think its inappropriate, or likewise with western wear.

Normally I wouldn't worry about this so much, as I realize it is a day for the bride and little attention will be focused on me. Realistically, however, I am a blonde haired, blue-eyed, petite american girl who, in the past, has drawn attention to herself in india. I want to look beautiful without unwanted attention that might result if I wear the wrong thing. Furthermore, it is really important that I make a good impression on his family, as there is a romantic history between he and I, and still a possiblity in the future.

Any advice on appropriate situations you have encountered would be greatly appreciated regarding this matter.

Thank you.
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Old Aug 29th 2002, 9:31 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by tiggeR:
I AM ALSO AN AMERICAN AND LIVE IN USA AND I THINK THAT WHEN U GO TO INDIA FOR THE WEDDING THAT U SHOULD WEAR INDIAN DRESS CALLED SHALWAR KAMEEZ BECAUSE THEIR ELEGANT AND COMFORTABLE AND IT SHOWS RESPECT TO THE FAMILIES IN INDIA NAD PEOPLE WOULD RESPECT U FOR NOT DRESSING THE THE WEST WHILE IN THEIR COUNTRY AND WOULD RESPECT U FOR THAT.EMAIL ME AT TIGGER@AOL.COM
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Old Aug 29th 2002, 9:47 pm   #14
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Default LEARN URDU

Quote:
Originally posted by tiggeR:
IS THERE ANY ONE THAT CAN TEACH URDU,IF SO PLEASE EMAIL ME AT TIGGER@AOL.COM
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Old Aug 31st 2002, 5:30 pm   #15
B . Server
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Default Re: What should an American Woman wear to an Indian wedding?

On Thu, 29 Aug 2002 21:47:32 +0000, tiggeR
wrote:

    >Originally posted by tiggeR:
    >IS THERE ANY ONE THAT CAN TEACH URDU,IF SO PLEASE EMAIL ME AT
    >TIGGER@AOL.COM

And while you are at it, teach her about the "shiftlock" key, too.
 
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