I love learning about women in different cultures, and India was no exception. The women in India with their saris, bindi, sindoor, and bangles were so fascinating. Almost all the women I saw in Delhi, Agra and Kolkata wore a sari or a shalwar kameez, which is a long tunic worn with pants. The women in Darjeeling were dressed in a lot more "western" style clothes. All of the saris and shalwar kameez's were made of beautifully printed fabrics. My black skirts and dresses definitely made me stand out :/.
The bindi is the small red dot that a lot of Indian women wear on their foreheads, in between their eyebrows. It has several different meanings and is mostly worn in red but I also saw some women in Darjeeling with pink, yellow and orange bindis. Married women also had sindoor which is a powdered red line on their middle part that signifies that they are married. That was one of my favorite customs – it looks so beautiful and it really made me want to start doing that on myself. It also reminded me of the colored hairlines on the models at the Chanel Spring 2011 show.
A lot of women worked. In Darjeeling, we came across a construction site that had mostly women workers, and we visited a tea estate where there were more women plucking tea than men. The younger, single women at the tea estate worked in the morning, while the married women worked a different shift and men another. I found that so interesting. More to come!
graphics designed by becca clason