Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > All Miscellaneous questions > Women's Topics

Women's Topics For questions which are specific to women, including travel-related challenges to do with menstruation, contraception, she-wees, and any other questions that 'women don't dare to ask', pros and cons of riding pillion, women travelling solo, safety concerns, etc. This is not a Ladies Bar, this forum is open to all, including guys who would like information for their significant other.
Please post questions which are of interest to both genders in the relevant forum, where they will be more likely to get a quick response.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 14 Sep 2009
Moderated Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: indore/m.p./india
Posts: 1
Arrow Travel Tips: For Women planning to travel in India..

Hi everyone,
I'm finally in India and so far I'm having a blast and meeting lots of great people, both local and westerner. I was compelled to post a thread on this topic because what you wear in India is so very important. So far I'm finding that travelling around in India is like travelling around in a nation full of Fashion Police. What you wear here affects how you are perceived, how you are treated and even how your day will go.

I assumed that like me, everyone reads up on the customs and etiquette of a country before they go. The majority of westerners I've met over here seem to have done their homework but I've run into quite a few that haven't. One such instance in particular was a group of nice young Swedish girls that I met during my travels who came here for vacation. They owned a Rough Guide but neglected to read the section on what to wear. They chose to wear bikinis and halter tops on a beach in Kerala. The harrassment they received upset them so much they almost cut their trip short. They decided to change the way they dressed and now are having a blast. I've met a few others who have the same experiences and I've even made a couple of mistakes. I once wore a clingy black long-sleeve shirt with a deep v-neck. It didn't show cleavage but I guess it showed a little too much upper chest or something. Another time, I wore one of my nicer Salwar Kameez with a cheap pair of flip-flops. As a westerner, you'll always attract curious stares...they're fleeting and harmless. When you wear the wrong thing the disapproving glares will cut right through you and you'll get them from everybody...young, old, men and women. Sometimes they'll go out of their way to quietly show their disapproval. I don't intimidate easily but I prefer not to spend the whole day deflecting all the negative vibes I receive by wearing the wrong thing. It's exhausting. I feel no need to prove a point or change India's view on what a woman should wear. I've been dressing appropriately and I'm having a blast!

Option A: Wear Your Western Clothes

Leave the bikinis, halter tops, tube tops, spaghetti straps, shorts, mini-skirts and anything over the top at home. Dressing "sexy" here will either offend or attract the wrong kind of attention. Cargo pants, jeans, long sundresses with short sleeves, skirts that fall under the knee or lower, short or long sleeve shirts and blouses that are atleast slightly loose and don't show too much of your chest should all be ok judging by what I've seen westerners and the handful of local women that I've seen who are wearing western wear and going about unharrassed. I'm not sure about beachwear because I haven't been to a beach yet but from what I've been hearing around, bikinis are totally not acceptable. I'd probably wear a t-shirt and a sarong over my bathing suit to be safe. I'd say that if it accentuates or shows off the curves of your bottom or your chest then it's probably not ok. Baring your midriff may or may not be ok but it seems to attract a little unwanted attention too. Yes local women bare their midriffs here too but most of the time it is covered by their saris. As far as shoes go, I'd pack a pair of comfortable walking sandals and/or shoes and a cheap pair of flips flops for lounging and using questionable showers. Leave the high heels at home. The streets and sidewalks are so uneven you'll break your neck trying to get somewhere.

Option B: Wear Local Clothing

This is the option I chose. I brought over 2 days worth of my own clothing and had some additional outfits made by a local tailor soon after I arrived. Tailors are easy to find and for a small price, you'll receive a beautiful and functional reminder of your trip and help a local family at the same time. Most locals are pleased to see westerners wear Indian style clothing as it shows that you are respectful and have an interest in their culture. There are tons of cheap and beautiful ready to wear clothing as well but if you're not petite, good luck finding something that will fit. I am 5 ft 3 inches tall which is average height in America but here in India, I tower above almost everyone. I also have a larger bustline and hips so I've had to have all of my clothes made. For a small price, I got to select the fabrics and the details (cut of the neck, length, sleeves, etc) for 2 beautiful and comfortable salwar kameez ready the next day and 2 flowy Indian-style tunics which were ready in 2 hours. Wearing a sari may not be a good idea if you are a white westerner. It probably won't offend but I've been told by quite a few locals that a westerner wearing a sari would look strange. I've even had one store refuse to sell me one, instead stearing me towards the salwar kameez and long skirts. As far as shoes go, I regret forgetting to pack my sandals. Shoes are cheap here but my 7 1/2 US sized feet are average there but here in India, I am Bigfoot and my size has been a little tough to find.

Another quick odd note...I saw a beautiful flower and picked it to tuck it in the hair above my ear. One of the locals ran up to me and advised me not to do so as wearing a flower in my hair that way signals to men that I am loose and ready to accept their sexual advances.

Well girls, I hope this helps. I hope I didn't scare anyone. Knowing what to wear in India is not hard and most westerners I see here have gotten it right. I want to ensure that everyone derful a time as I am in India. Even with its pitfalls, India is an amazing country. I feel blessed to be here!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 17 Feb 2010
Selous's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: England
Posts: 420
Thanks for the tip my freind (girl) will be coming wirh so will pass on to her
__________________
We are the Pilgrims, Master, we shall go Always a little further: it may be beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow, Across that angry or that glimmering sea.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 18 Jan 2011
krs10_s's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Korea
Posts: 3
Great advice! I'm coming to India in the next two months and am very excited!!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 14 May 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
Red face

All of what she said is quite true. I appreciate the respect for the culture, and the customs.

I will add, as someone who lived there for a while, that the beaches, especially in Goa, are full of Western women who feel like it is their right to parade topless and nearly naked, then wonder why they are harassed?? I couldn't believe it when I first went there, and overheard many women saying things like "omg, could they stare more?" or "that is just rude!" Uhm, you are naked in one of the world's most conservative countries...that was just embarrassing.

Please remember that you are visiting, and not an owner of the culture. It is a beautiful place, but respect the customs too.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 5 Aug 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Post Re :

Hi,

I had been to India before six months.The people of India is quiet conservative so it is better to wear fully body covered clothes.There are many beautiful places that are really worth to visit in India.
__________________
Florida Hotels
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 6 Aug 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Back home in the UK
Posts: 889
Another tip for women travelling alone in India is to wear a wedding ring and always describe yourself as married. Tell any local who asks that your husband will be joining you soon or is at the hotel or something like that, I know it is not nice to tell lies but it can help avoid problems.
It can sometimes be prudent to introduce any western man you are with as your husband if asked, just don't tell him your are going to do it first, the look on his face will be priceless!
__________________
Sent from my ageing laptop with a dodgy screen
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Overland Travel in South America tips mailking 4WD Overland TRAVEL 1 29 Jun 2009 14:01
What's your top Travel Tip? - Best tips go into MCN - Motorcycle News Grant Johnson TRAVEL Hints and Tips 14 22 Jul 2008 22:08
Travel in India and buy(rent) Bullet olegs Route Planning 0 22 Dec 2004 18:09
Travel in India and buy(rent) Bullet olegs Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 0 22 Dec 2004 17:29
Travel Alert - Ahmedabad, India Susan Johnson Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 0 4 Mar 2002 13:46

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!


Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 00:46.