India has the most beautiful clothing in the world. Its embrace of color, drape, and texture makes the heart dance! What I didn’t realize before our December teacher tour of India, however, was the fact that many woman in India wear these remarkable clothes even when doing arduous manual labor.
What this means is that wherever you go in India, there are female manual laborers — bricklayers, hedge cutters, roadside merchants, farmers, and maintenance workers — toiling in the sun and dust wearing colored clothing so splendid-looking that residents of any other country would wear them only on the most special, fancy occasions.
Our tour group was fascinated by these women, but our guide, Manu, urged caution. “Tell her we think she’s amazing!” one of the teachers on our tour gushed to Manu after watching a female bricklayer (shown in the first photo) balance fourteen bricks on her head. “I can’t do that,” Manu replied, “because she’s just doing her job, wearing her normal clothes, and your comment might seem rude.”
So what are YOUR thoughts seeing these photos? Do you feel joy seeing the vibrant colors? Does your heart ache at the physical toil depicted? Are you shocked? Fascinated? Maybe… inspired?
I’m so curious to read your thoughts, experiences, and insights, below. Do leave a comment!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is National Board Certified Teacher, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a full-time public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have visited this site over the decade. Lillie also runs Teaching Traveling Global Education Community and Drawings Of… Educational Cartoon Site. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow on social media with the links below!