For the first time in my life, I wore an Indian outfit to class (actually in college in Southeastern U.S.) without using the rationalization of a special occasion or religious observance. So far to the extent of my knowledge, I have encountered some sidelong glances but no other negative backlash or harassment! And yes, I feel so comfortable and beautiful. I don’t know why I didn’t start this practice earlier…
Why am I doing this? I find it nothing short of a crime that I am unable to enjoy the fashion of my vibrant culture because of a need to conform to Western society’s culture-shaming rules and regulations. I know I will probably be mocked a few times, but I can assure you that I feel as invincible as a queen.
If any of my Desi sisters want to join me for this, please let me know and we can get excited and plan outfits together :) We have such beautiful things stockpiled at home…we should wear them with pride!
So I got a brand new, beautiful red salwar kameez at the start of the new year, and as much as I love it, l feel ashamed to wear it in public. I really want to brush off the feeling of being embarrassed and afraid of being stared at or made fun of when embracing my cultural heritage by wearing traditional clothes. As a matter of fact, I really want to actually start wearing more traditional garments, and I am currently shopping for more casual salwars and anarkalis. Whenever I wear Indian clothes, I feel so good and in tune with my culture but the counteracting feelings of fear of being ‘othered’ is frightening. I hope I eventually gather the courage to finally don it.