Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Lure of the Exotic

The first time I came to India, our friend Geraldine's mother went and got me the nicest little salwar kameez outfit and sent it to me so I could have it on arrival. I still have it, and I still enjoy wearing it when I'm here in India. That first trip, I wore Indian clothes every day and so did all the Indian gals we saw on the street. Men, however, mostly seemed to have switched over to Western style clothing.

Not too many years later, here in Pune (which is a big city and a university town), the ladies and especially the younger ladies are wearing Western clothing like crazy. Fancy dress is still 100% Indian, and these Indian ladies seriously know how to dress up. But casual wear on the street seems almost 50-50 between western wear and Indian wear. So, I'm as likely to leave the house in my t-shirt and jeans as in my salwar kameez... Some combo of the two seems to be my favorite outfit - an Indian kurta (sort of like a lightweight tunic top) with a pair of jeans or long pants. Luckily, my favorite flip flops blend in perfectly!

I was thinking how funny though, that us foreigners like to come and buy Indian outfits, while the Indian gals are buying Western outfits. Meanwhile, at the grocery store, we were buying khakras (world's best cracker-like-product!!!), and parathas, and spices and mango pickle... while the Indian family in front of us was buying Kellogg's Corn Flakes. Ha ha!

It's so nice that we all seem to have the same impulse - to learn about other experiences and cultures and options out there in the world. So I'll put on my tunic and order a lime soda with my parathas, while the gal in the tee shirt and skinny jeans goes to the mall and eats at Pizza Hut. Ha!


Jen hall said...

Amey!! Thanks so much for blogging again! I just spent some time revisiting our last trip through your blog. I love hearing about India and how things have changed. I look forward to more posts!! Enjoy, as i know you will!!!

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

I'm so glad you're sharing your experiences with us! The Corn Flakes incident is hilarious!

Are you finding it hard to resist adopting all those stray dogs and bringing them back home so they can live happily ever after with Stevie Wonder? :)

Sandy said...

Even though there is not much of a difference to me whether or not you are in California or India I miss you more when your not at home. It seriously strange. Kittee and I have met twice to take Sadie & Vee for a walk. I've had a nice time with her both times... looks like a friendship might be blossoming thanks to your introduction. It's my day off today and I'm contently accomplishing very little. Miss you... All Love, Sandy