Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fashions in McLeod Ganj

Prior to the Olympic Games in Beijing, the Tibetan Youth League began producing black “Team Tibet” track-tops. The Tibetan flag is on the left breast, and all have “Team Tibet 08” on the back. Sold for Rs500, both local Tibetans and foreign visitors bought them like hot-cakes and wear them with pride around town. Even K. bought one to wear in the air-conditioned cinemas in Singapore.

I note that they are selling black t-shirts outside the Main Temple with “I´m A Proud Member of The Dalai Clique” imprinted on the front. I´m tempted to buy one myself!! They are selling for RS150 - I am happy to take your orders.

The tourists and travellers wear an interesting assortment of garb.

Of course, “The Monk” is popular with several older men. Simply by 3 metres of burgundy material and you are away. Most are not ordained, although a few have intentional leanings.

Several women of variety of age groups adopt a Tibetan look – which although really smart-looking, black dress and multi-coloured pinafore, they always look so much better on Tibetans.

Young women, especially travelling in small groups are often tempted by the Punjabi look. It´s difficult to go “wrong” despite some valiant attempts.

Most of the rest of the “Western” travelling community wear clothes that they would not be wearing in their home-towns.

It is noted that when I am wearing my “I heart NY” sweatshirt, I get a lot more attention in town. Indian and Tibetan school children like to read it out loud, as do most of the resident Kashmiri community. Clearly a global symbol – and no-one has thrown stones or spat at me...yet!

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