Clothing for men and women are becoming more popular in India with a growing number of people seeking to fit into different faith traditions.
While it may be tempting to just wear what they’re wearing, many people in India believe the clothes they wear reflect their faith in an authentic way.
“The clothes they are wearing is important,” says Srikanth, who is currently working in a textile company in Gurgaon.
“You have to be authentic and respectful of what you’re wearing.
If you are wearing a jacket, you have to wear the jacket to show your devotion.”
Srikanth is also one of the first Indian men to join a group called The Mamas and the Papas.
The group has been a safe haven for Indian men in India, but it has also grown in recent years with more members coming from across the country.
They are now actively recruiting men from across India and across religions.
The group is active on social media, sharing tips and ideas on how to fit in and how to express your faith.
“I would like to be able to share what I am wearing,” says Gagan Das, who came to India in 2010 and joined The Moms and the Paps.
“There are many women and men who are also involved in the group.”
For many men in the region, wearing a moustache is more than just a fashion statement.
“It’s an expression of their identity,” says Shri Prabhakar, a retired general from a major state in Bihar.
“A man should be respected for his beard, but he shouldn’t be looked down on for having a mohalla.”
Prabhakars beard is considered a part of his identity and he says he is not afraid of it.
“If a man looks like a muhalla, he should be seen as such,” he says.
“In India, men wear a beard, it’s just a different kind of beard.
I don’t want to be called an ugly man.”
Prasad is a member of The Mums and the Pas, a group that has been active for more than a decade in the Indian diaspora.
He says it is not only about religion, but about respect and being a man who respects others.
“People say that in India we don’t have respect, but I don.
We have respect because we have learnt to respect each other,” Prasad says.
Prasads beard is a sign of respect for women, and he believes it is a way of showing that he is respectful of them.
“Our men should show respect for our women,” he adds.
While the Indian men and girls are embracing new clothing styles, the men are not giving up their traditional clothing, as some of them are still wearing traditional clothing.
“We are still keeping our traditional clothes,” says Anup.
“Women wear dresses, the traditional dress is always on display.”
The group also keeps a collection of traditional Indian moccasins.
Anup, who grew up in the US, now lives in Mumbai and is a teacher.
He has been wearing moccassins since he was a child.
“As I have grown older, I have been doing some work in the fashion industry,” he explains.
He is also a part owner of an online store called Pudahari.
“At times I am a man of the people, I am not a man that thinks about fashion,” he continues.
“But when I am doing work, I don, and I do it for the right reasons.”
Another group of men is also making an effort to change their traditional attire.
Anup’s son, who lives in New York, is now wearing traditional clothes.
“My son and I both wear traditional clothes to show our faith in India,” he said.
“When he was younger, I would tell him I was wearing a kurta.
I would say I am Sikh, and the kurtas were for me to wear as a Muslim.”
The men in The Mommas and the Poles, and other groups, are also trying to change the way they dress.
Srikan, for instance, is still wearing his traditional clothes, but is trying to create a new type of dress, one that can match the local culture and reflect the way in which he is.
“Dressing up in traditional clothes is not an easy thing to do,” he admits.
“Being Sikh, we don, at times, wear a kurts or a turban.
If we do, it is because we are proud of who we are.”