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Home > Indian Traditional Costumes > North India > Punjab
Punjab

Punjab Traditional DressThe rich agricultural states of Punjab and Haryana are famous for the `phulkari (flower-work) shawls that, worn with a tight-fitting choli and gaghra. Phulkari forms the traditional costume of rural women of this region. It was a costume both spectacular and eminently practical. Phulkaris were made for everyday wear. Usually the border and field of the shawl were not so densely embroidered, with much of the ground cloth exposed. For ceremonial occasions, however, a special kind of phulkari known as a `bagh` (garden) was made, in which the whole of the ground was covered with embroidery, so that the base cloth was not visible at all. On the birth of a baby, the grandmother, after a ceremony of prayers and distribution of sweets to the baby`s aunts, would start to embroider a bagh. It would take several years to complete and was embroidered with special care to be used later at the grandchild`s wedding, after which it would be kept as a family treasure.

The traditional Punjabi shoes, called juttis retain their popularity with both rural and urban men; they are both elegant and comfortable. Patiala and Muktsar are famous for juttis. It is impossible to tell by dress whether a Punjabi woman is a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian - they all dress in salwar topped by a kameez (a garment that can be fitted like a dress loose like the kurta) and accented by a rectangular scarf about 2.5 metres long called the chunni or duppatta . She`s fond of her sweaters, but she is passionately proud of her collection of woollen shawls. These can be breathtaking. The women of Punjab are responsible for the state`s most famous item of handicraft - the phulkari.

A shawl completely covered in dense silk embroidery, folk motifs in jewel-tones on an ochre background. Gold is her weakness - brides are loaded with it. Punjab`s are known to be colorful people in nature. Yet something keeps them bound to traditional style of dressing. Jeans, Jackets, Trousers, Skirts and other form of western outfits are an in thing among women punjabi`s in India. But still the popular or universal form of dress material stands out to be still what punjabi culture is know for Salwar Kameez , Saree, Sharara.

Salwar KameezA popular, comfortable and convenient dress is the  or churidar kurta. This was traditonally the dress worn in Punjab, but is now worn almost everywhere, particularly among the younger generations. The kameez or the kurta is a knee-length flowing tunic worn over a salwar or churidar. A salwar is a pyjama-like trouser, which tapers slightly towards the ankles, while the churidar is a tight-fitting trouser that gathers at the ankles. These gathers at the ankles look like bangles (churis) and hence the name. A dupatta generally completes the ensemble.

Western dressing styles are increasingly gaining popularity among the urban youth of both sexes, but women largely restrict themselves to fashion trends within Indian dressing mores. Young girls wear skirts and dresses, particularly to schools. After adolescence, and almost certainly after marriage, women are expected to wear traditional Indian clothing. This trend is changing with more women entering the urban work force, but this is confined to sections of society that are highly exposed to international lifestyles. Men are considerably less traditional when it comes to dressing.

Women`s Clothing
Punjabi girls and women wear salwar kameez`s with bright colored duppattas. A salwar kameez has two pieces of cloths: the kameez, or shirt or top piece, and the salwar, or pants or bottom piece. A duppatta is a piece of colorful cloth that women wear around their necks. Salwar kameez`s and duppattas come in a variety of colors and designs. There are many stores that specialize and sell only these articles of clothing. Punjabi girls and women wear salwar kameez`s with bright colored duppattas. A salwar kameez has two pieces of cloths: the kameez, or shirt or top piece, and the salwar, or pants or bottom piece. A duppatta is a piece of colorful cloth that women wear around their necks. Salwar kameez`s and duppattas come in a variety of colors and designs

Men and boys generally wear loose pants or slacks with a collared shirt or t-shirt. Some males also wear the kurta pajama, an Indian shirt and pant outfit, especially the Punjabi farmer. On their head, many Sikhs also wear puggs, or turbans.

Men`s Clothing
Men and boys generally wear loose pants or slacks with a collared shirt or t-shirt. Some males also wear the kurta pajama, an Indian shirt and pant outfit, especially the Punjabi farmer. On their head, many Sikhs also wear turbans.

Winter Clothing
In winter, both women and men generally wear a woolen shawl, a small blanket, around their necks. Many men wear jackets and woolen caps as well. Winter sees the rustic Punjabi in colourful sweaters that wives and mothers are so skilled in making. A blanket finishes his ensemble.

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