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British Rule and Dress Codes

Misunderstandings and conflicts were often led by the dress codes. There were a number of styles which were considered superior in the Indian culture whereas the same was considered inferior by the British people.

The two main areas conflict between the British and the Indians as far as dress codes were concerned were the ‘turban’ and the ‘shoes’

The story of the turban.

The British were called the ‘hat wearers’ and the Indians were called the’ turban wearers’.


Turban Styles in India

The wearing of a turban was not only a sign of national identity for an Indian, but also a symbol of respect and they never removed it at will. But for the British, the hat which they wore was for the purpose of style and they used to remove it in front of their superiors. When this was expected from the Indians, misunderstandings ensued.


The Indian Turban vs The British Hat

The Indian foot-wear also had a similar story.
Indians traditionally remove their foot wear when they enter the temple or a house. This was usually done on the grounds of hygiene as the foot wear tends to collect the dirt from outside.

The British unaware of the reason insisted that every one remove their foot wear before entering the coutroom. This conflict continued and it was many years before footwear was allowed inside the courtrooms.

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