Q: Upper body clothing outside temple

Jakub Cejka jakub at unipune.ernet.in
Thu Oct 3 19:31:56 UTC 1996

While reading here about the fact that in southern temples removing upper 
clothing is a required gesture of respect, I would like to ask (Indians) 
how has the sense that it is otherwise a gesture of disrespect developed ?

Whenever in India I removed or only unbuttoned my shirt being unable to 
bear the heat I was always either laughed at or politely or impolitely 
forced to cover my body not by muslims but hindus. When dressed in shorts 
I entered the Sanskrit department in a West Bengal university, I was told 
that it is not good to come "in dhoti". This particularly puzzled me, 
that once shorts are seen as dhoti they are not accepted. 

I appologize a lot for such non-Indological question, but I was always 
wondering about this: that what is necessary in some temples is 
considered uncultured in public.  Any personal feelings welcome on this 
on my email address.

Thanks J.Cejka

Mr. Jakub Cejka
Dept. of Sanskrit, University of Pune
Ganeshkhind, Pune, India  411 007

e-mail:  jakub at unipune.ernet.in   (till July 97 the latest)

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