In different countries, same items of clothing often convey contrary meaning. This is due to the difference in culture of the countries. -
The following points state how the cultural difference and clothing create misunderstanding amongst the English and Indians during the British rule
(i) The turban in India was not just for protection from die heat, but was a sign of respectability. It could not be removed at will.But in the Western tradition, they had to be removed before social superiors as a sign of respect.
The British were often offended if Indians did not take off their turbans when they met colonial officials. Here, the cultural difference created misunderstanding.
(ii) Some times, British officials also wore Indian clothes.
But in 1830, Europeans were forbidden from wearing Indian clothes at official functions, so that the cultural identity of the white rulers was not undermined. At the same time, Indians were expected to wear Indian clothes to office and follow Indian dress code.
(iii) It was a common practice of Indians to take off their shoes when they entered a sacred place and home. First Governor-General Amherst, later Governor-General Lord Dalhousie made strict law that Indians should take off their shoes, when they entered any government office.
This law led to many controversy and opposition in Indian society.