Friday, November 24, 2006


When it comes to clothes and fashion, Lahore, Pakistan is a place that runs the gamut of style. Indeed, many of the people I saw were wearing Western clothes, although many of them had outfits that looked like they dated back to my highschool years in the mid-1980s.

The traditional everday Pakistani clothing ensemble for men (and sometimes women) is the salwar-kameez. The salwar are the loose fitting trousers and the kameez is the extra-long shirt. The whole getup reminds me of pajamas, but is probably a pretty comfortable set of clothes. My friend Saeed here is also wearing a vest and a hat because he is in a mosque. Women would traditionally add a scarf to this outfit.

Around town you will often see women wearing a burqa, a long outer garment that covers everything but the woman's eyes. The decision to wear a burqa is usually determined by the tradtions or religious preferences of woman's family and is not required by law (as it was during the Taliban's reign in Afghanistan).

This woman, a dancer at a festival celebrating Indian food and music, had an entirely different outfit and I must admit it was pretty hot.

Lahore had no shortage of cute kids who were only too eager to pose for my camera. These girls had uniforms from a cadet school, one that they attended to instill discipline in their lives at an early age.

The children I encountered loved to get their picture taken and when I showed them the photos I took on my digital camera they got very excited (as if it were magic or something).

Seen here are a couple of teenage girls wearing the salwar-kameez with scarves. They also have designs painted on their hands from a henna plant. This is kind of like a temporary tattoo and very popular in Pakistan (it lasts about two weeks).

This girl already has an attitude that suggests a career as a fashion model someday.

Pakistan's version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band:

(Actually they were a band that was getting ready to perform at a local wedding)

Around town guards and doormen at local restaurants, hotels and other places of interest were often dressed in traditional Punjab garb. The turban styles in this province of Pakistan are different than other parts of the country.

One night we attended a music festival and I was taking some photos of the crowd. Suddenly, a security officer ran up to me and insisted that I take his picture. His look and pose give insight into what Peter Sellers could have possibly looked like had he portrayed a Pakistani security guard in one of his films (I don't believe he ever did).

The policemen in Lahore have a decidedly military look and they all carry armed rifles (similar to the soldiers that populated the Bangkok streets during the Coup back in September), but the ones I encountered were all pretty nice.

That concludes this edition of "Pakistani Paparazzi." Check back later for the next installment...

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