The Indian subcontinent is a vast area approximately the size of Europe, and is today divided into the three separate countries of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In the subcontinent, there is a wider variety of different people, religions, cultures and languages. This division is majorly because of the physical aspects of the land of the subcontinent and some important historical events that shaped the course of history for the subcontinent, for example invasions and migrations. The people of subcontinent have a diversified culture which can undoubtedly be attributed to the vast variety of ethnic groups inhabiting the area. The culture of subcontinent has a very long historical background as it is considered that one of the oldest civilizations of the world lived in the land of subcontinent. The music, art and philosophy of the subcontinent convey the values culture and the importance given to them in the historical perspective as well making the current culture very interesting like many other Asian countries.
One of the most important part of the culture and tradition of the subcontinent is the traditional dresses. Being ruled by Muslims for centuries, the impact of Muslim traditions was unavoidable on non-Muslims, as well. In most of the areas, the general dress code of Muslims and non Muslims is the same –at least in generality, and if we talk about the rural areas. Mostly both men and women of subcontinent wear the dresses which cover them completely, this is more particular in the case of Muslims as such dresses are in accordance with the second most common religion of subcontinent i.e. Islam. However, the people from urban culture mostly wear jeans and T-shirts. The men of subcontinent wear the traditional attire of subcontinent that is Shalwaar Kameez or Kurta Pajamas.
The dress of Shalwaar Kameez has its roots in the Turks, during the time of the Ottoman Empire the use of such loose pajama-like trousers (now known as Shalwar) was spread to the subcontinent through Iran and Afghanistan. Shalwar Kameez is also the depiction of Islamic Culture or we can say Shalwaar Kameez is the closest to Islamic dress (evidently there is no such dress as an Islamic dress but the dress which covers the body in a maximum way is an Islamic dress). Shalwaar Kameez passes this test, and that is the reason why most of the Muslim women of subcontinent prefer wearing this dress. Owing to the longstanding connection of the people of the subcontinent with this dress we can also say that it represents the cultural heritage of the subcontinent.
Shalwar Kameez is available in a lot of different fabrics; Cotton, Latha, Lawn and many more with people choosing the fabric according to the climate. The subcontinent is blessed with four different seasons ranging from scorching summers to chilling winters and all the seasons in between, so people choose the type of cloth according to the atmosphere. Lawn is the most common fabric for women in this part of the world. Marriage being a very important festival in the subcontinent, the traditional bridal dress and the groom dress is usually the most awe inspiring feature of a sub-continental marriage. The bridal dress is made up of very heavy material and the groom mostly wears Sherwani which is better form of Kurta Shalwar.
Religiously, the most important festivity is that of Eid, on this day you will find most of the people wearing Shalwar Kameez or fancy Kurtas. This shows that everyone is the same they are one united nation. The people of the sub-continent especially Pakistan feel very proud of their traditional and cultural dress for instance, at the last year’s opening ceremony of Olympics, Team Pakistan wore Shalwar Kameez to represent their country –this was the first time for them to wear that dress on such an occasion, hence a proud moment for all the Pakistanis around the globe. This shows how much the people here love their tradition and norms.
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