Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Women in India

I've always wanted to go to India, and when my friend told me she was moving there for a fellowship with Calcutta Kids, I jumped at the opportunity to go visit her. Stanton and I just got back from a 9-day trip with her and her husband where we visited Delhi, Agra, Kolkata, and Darjeeling. It was everything I expected multiplied by 100!

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


Brightside Design said...

Stumbled upon your blog today and I love it! Such beautiful pictures, I'll definitely have to add India on my list of places to visit.

hannah said...

Looks like you had a fun time! Quite a few people I know have traveled to India and everyone always comes back with the most beautiful pictures, including you! :)

rebecca said...

i'm loving your india adventures.

Oliver & Margy said...

Beautiful post! You capture it so well, and it help me appreciate everything more.

currykim.com said...

my bengali friend puts henna in her hair for 5 hours once a month to give it a cool hint of red shiny feel. she has so many hair secrets!
i like learning women's hair secrets!

Courtneyvk said...

I just came across your blog today from a video on vimeo (which was fantastic!). I was pleasantly surprised to find this post on India because I just got back from traveling to Mumbai, Badlpur, Nagpur, Delhi and Agra. I was so amazed by the beauty of all of the women in India as well as their dedication to customs like the bindi and wearing saris. It really inspired me, and I am happy to read how other people were impacted by the women of India as well.



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