To Veil or Not to Veil ?



This is not a woman seen in Gujurat but in Rajasthan.  We are used to seeing Muslim women with their faces covered but not Hindu women.  The question of why , was asked of Vikram, our guide in Jodhpur. He explained  that Rajasthan is very traditional and that married Hindu women must cover their faces  with this thin filmy fabric when out in public. It is a bit confusing as the woman’s face is partially hidden but  also visible. . . . .a tease really, I think.

He also explained that he had an arranged marriage where he was given a photograph and ask to say yes or no for the perspective bride.  He remembered grumbling that he couldn’t make that important life decision from a photograph, and his grandmother saying, “At least you have some choice!”  He thought a moment and agreed, saying yes for his bride.  Now that they are married and moved into the extended family of the groom, the new bride also was required to wear the veil over her face when in the company of her new in-laws and grandparents.  Vikram’s mother told her daughter-in-law she needn’t wear her veil when it was just the two of them but to wear it in front of her father-in-law and grandparents as a sign  of respect.

Vikram told us that the marriage arranged by the couple’s parents had grown from an arranged marriage to a marriage of love!

So ends the lesson on Indian marriage customs for today!


I would love to hear your thoughts. . . . . This Is Incredible India! 

Images from Google Public Domain



About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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6 Responses to To Veil or Not to Veil ?

  1. Kentucky Angel says:

    Having known a girl from India and watched her dress in her traditional clothing, I can understand this rule. I am so intrigued by the respect given to the older people in India, at least the respect given by Niv to her parents. Have to admit to a bit of jealousy also, because of the way she acted toward them and the way my own children act toward me. Big difference.


  2. Semra Polat says:

    Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.

    And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.

    Surat An-Nur [24:30-31]

    i think ,it is not the hijab is their traditional dresses.


  3. I would love to make the standard judgement which denounces this tradition as repressive and demeaning to women. But Indian women are neither in my experience: in practice the woman is often head of the household, so it is difficult to think of them as submissive. Nice pictures.


    • annetbell says:

      Interesting observation, Frederick. Amul, a dairy product company is owned and managed by a woman and new chief minister in Gujurat is a woman, replacing Mr. Modi . You are right, there are many successful women in India!


  4. Yes .. The veil is a thing feom the times of the kings where women were to only expose her face to other women or obly her husband and kids. Its called “parda”. Sign of respect


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