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Dressing Modestly

Discussion in 'Asia' started by DreamingOfCherryBlossoms, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. I'm in the middle of studying the culture of South Korea and I'm learning that they have different ideas of modestly. Basically I learned that as a woman I should cover my shoulders and back. So I was wondering if you have found that certain countries expect you to cover up parts you don't consider immodest while showing others? Have you ever went without knowing and were embarrassed when you found out? As a fan of tanks and shorts, I'm having to reconfigure my closet in preparation for going to South Korea. Have you had to buy new clothes to fit in?
     
  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    I remember when I was young, it was forbidden for girls to wear sando. When the sleeveless shirt became popular, the grandparents did not agree because of the conservative society during that time. But now, our society is permissive and it is okay in whatever you wear. However, in the rural areas, there are people who are conservative as not to wear shorts. With the Koreans, I find them ultra conservative in their clothing because of their national attire where their entire body is wrapped. They are like Muslim women who are covered from head to foot. But what I really like in Korean women is their hygiene, they look so clean all the time.
     
  3. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    It's kind of the same in Japan - I was told when I visited there that it's way more normal for women to wear short skirts, but cleavage/spaghetti strap tops are really not done - I mean I'm sure you could still do it as a Westerner and not really offend people but for the most part women there seem to be more comfortable showing their legs rather than their shoulders!
     
  4. Probably women have more problems with this question of dress than men. For men, I am sure just wearing something simple and comfortable would be acceptable in most countries. I have yet to hear of any countries which insist that men tourists should be covered up from top to toe. Of course, shirtless men wearing super short shorts would not be welcome.
     
  5. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    Like amelia88 said, it's pretty much the same in Japan. It's weird because showing your legs off in Japan is completely okay, but if you show your shoulders/clevage, people will stare at your weirdly. People will also dress in long sleeves in the summer (it's super hot and humid here) just so they don't have to show their skin.

    But different countries have different customs. I recommend you do some research before going to a country. Of course, being a foreigner you might not be expected to follow the same rules, but if it makes you uncomfortable being stared at, then I would definitely try to fit in as much as possible.
     
  6. Yes, different cultures have different concepts of modesty. There's one particular difference between the Malays and the Chinese where I live. The Chinese girls don't think twice about wearing shorts which expose their legs way up their thighs but they always make sure that their top torsos are fully covered. The Malay girls would cover their legs all the way to their ankles but don't have much problem with low-cut blouses. This, for the Malay girls, was in the pre-Islamic renaissance era. Now the Malay girls cover everything but many still don't have problems with wearing tight-fitting skirts or jeans.
     
  7. Valentino

    Valentino Member

    I'm a firm proponent of "when in Rome do as the Romans do."

    Before traveling somewhere you should learn a little about their culture so you don't offend anyone. If there is some sort of dress code (although there are no official regulations) then abide by it. When you get back home you could dress as you please.
     
  8. It's not really that difficult. There are basically just two dress codes. One is that which is used in Muslim-majority countries. In those countries, just cover up, that's all. Wear loose and comfortable clothes. Forget about sex appeal. Forget about being attractive. Just go there and blend in with the natives to enjoy your holiday. The other dress code is for non-Muslim countries. In those countries, what works in a western casual setting should be fine. I don't include the beach as a casual setting, though. Again, even in such countries, there is no reason to dress to attract attention. You may get more than you have bargained for.
     
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    For our overseas workers for the Middle East, the government agency in charge of the departing workers have the so called pre-departure orientation which delves on the culture of the Arabs and the religion of Islam. The Middle East countries are strict with the attire especially with the women. In Saudi Arabia, even non-Muslim women are required to wear head covering and they are not allowed to talk with men other than the men in their household. One gay actor here went to Dubai wearing shorts and he was apprehended by the cops.
     
  10. Valentino

    Valentino Member

    Earlier in the year, 50 tourists were arrested in Saudi Arabia for wearing "unislamic" clothing. Don't know if they got away with a warning but it is something they would have avoided if they dressed like everyone else. No need to "test the waters" and hope for the best because things may not go as planned and your vacation might turn out to be pretty unpleasant [if you find yourself in a cell] or jail.
     
  11. Right. Stay cool. Blend in. You are there to enjoy your holiday. You are not there to make a statement or start a revolution. Whatever you may think about their culture, it's theirs. It's not our business to try to change them. If we cannot accept their culture, then do the simple thing, which is don't go there at all.