The dress is a part of national culture and heritage. There are three elements of culture:
- Behaviour patterns
- Belief system (Religion)
Artifices and behavior patterns are reflected in dress. In the famous drama Hamlet Shakespeare says (advice to a young man).
“Rich not gaudy
For apparel often proclaims a man”.
Dress is not only a mark of national identity but it is also an index of personal character. All nations or peoples are proud of their national dress. Kipling’s couplet:
“East is east; and west is west;
The twain can never meet”
is equally correct about dresses. Western dresses completely differ from Pakistan dresses. I am in favour of putting on Pakistani or national dress. I believe in the patriotic words Be Pakistani and buy Pakistani’. It is the best national investment.
Go to any part of the world, you will find peoples patronizing and donning their peculiar dresses. In international forums, meetings and conferences, delegates and observers turn up in their national dresses. Even our neighbors, the Indians put on Kurta, Dhoti and Ghadndhi caps. But we Pakistanis take pride in putting on western dresses, particularly men. In my opinion, it is a mark of mental slavery. You will seldom find the westerners using Pakistani dresses.
No doubt there are fashions in dress. The fusion of cultures has given variety to dresses. There are personal likes and dislikes in dress, but to be shy of putting on Pakistani dress, is sign of inferiority complex. Coming to the western style, suits, bush coat suits and full pants, bush shirts and jeans and shirts are peculiar gent dresses. But ladies dresses like skirts, bikinis, Mini-skirts and gowns are tailored to display their bodies, mounts and shallows. They are rather fleshy and tight.
As compared to western garments, Pakistani clothes are more graceful and attractive: Shalwar and Kurta, trousers and shirts are easy to wash a wear. Sherwani (called Mahasay Coat in India, is mark of oriental culture. Thank God, ladies are clad in Shalwar, Kameez and Dupatta. Sari and blouse are popular among fashionable circles. The sleeveless and bodikins, size are against Islamic teachings. The Holy Quran ordains the believers’ women to cover their bodies properly and not to display their persons and ornaments before out siders except close relatives. They can keep their faces, hands and feet open.
Pakistani dresses are not only graceful put they are also cheap and economical as compared to the western styles. They can be stitched and made at home. Their tailoring charges are not so high. Inspite of these advantages, people generally turn up in western dressed in offices, marriage parties and social gatherings. It is rather against national dignity to expect children as students, to attend in foreign style uniforms.
Dress is meant to cover the body. It enriches ones personality and impresses others. But, as against Shakespeare’s words, people squander money on costly dresses. They try to show down one another. They live above their means to maintain the imported standard of living. One can live within honest earnings by using simple Pakistani styles. They socially, economically and religiously suit national purpose. In my opinion western dress should be used as sparingly as possible. Pakistani dress is sign of simplicity which is unimitable virtue.