06 October 2016

The Hindu dress code

The Indonesian Hindu Religious Council (PHDI) has reminded Balinese Hindus to dress conservatively when attending ceremonies at local temples. Religious leaders remind that costumes worn while attending Hindu temples should contribute to the solemnity and reverence befitting such events. For women, PHDI suggests women should be clad in white kebayas with sleeves that extend beyond the elbow. Similarly, kamen or sarongs should extend to the ankle, and not merely cover the knee. The chairman of the Bangli chapter of PHDI has long been an advocate of a proper dress standards for Hindu worshippers, saying dress during worship reflects both not only a mode of dress, but also demonstrate a philosophical outlook. He says women should wear kebayas that are of a “calm color” as opposed to being too bright. White, long-sleevedkebayas are to be preferred. Women’s hairstyle should be in a free-flowing hair fall (Pasung gonjer) for single women and in a bundled hairstyle (sanggul) for married women. Meanwhile Hindu men visiting a temple are suggested to wear a white headscarf (udeng), a white shirt and ideally a whitesarong. Both men and women should dress in a way that does not arouse attention and distract others from their prayers and rituals. He explains that dress for Hindu worshippers must be polite, neat, clean and not accent parts of the body that can cause sexual arousal. Heads of traditional villages in the Regency of Bangli are helping to spread the word on the reverential and polite ways to dress among Hindu religious worshippers.

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