Dresses are not mere clothing but symbolize tradition, culture and life style of a particular group of people which in the end represents a nation.
Even the dimensions, fabric and embellishment of dresses can indicate some of the demographics of a nation. Punjabi dress for men comprises Pagri, Kurta and dhoti.
The Punjabi Pagg Pagdi or Turban
A generation ago, the turban was the “crowning glory” of all Punjabis whether Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. Muslims and Hindus have given up their turbans, but it remains an article of faith for Sikh men whose religion forbids them to cut their hair.
Punjabi men are recognized the world over by their unique headgear called the Pug or Pagdi. The turbaned Sikh is a common sight in most parts of the world because most of them do not sacrifice their Pagdi because it is a symbol of their religion and a sign of honor or respect to their Guru. Traditional Punjabis do not cut their hair or shave as their religion does not permit them to do so. However, with changing times, the modern Punjabis have given up these customs and dress and wear their hair just like others. The turbans are worn in various colors to match their kurta or shirt.
The turban as well as the other articles of faith worn by Sikhs have an immense spiritual as well as temporal significance. The symbolisms of wearing a turban are many from it being regarded as a symbol of sovereignty, dedication, self-respect, courage and piety, but the reason all practicing Sikhs wear the turban is just one - out of love and obedience to the wishes of the founders of their faith.
In Punjab, Two people would trade their turbans to show love or friendship towards each other.
Kurta-Pajama, consisting of two pieces of garments, is one of the basic clothing of the Punjabi men. The first garment is a kurta that is like a loose long shirt almost reaching the knees, whereas the second one is the pajama or pyjama, which is a lightweight drawstring trouser. It is similar to a shirt but with long sleeves and no opening in the front. The kurta is worn by pulling it over the head like a banyan or top vest.
The term 'pyjama' derived into the English language from Hindustani, a language from which Urdu and Hindi originated. The word originally derives from the Persian word 'Payjama' meaning 'leg garment'. It was due to the British colonialization of India that the term 'pajama' and the dress spread to other parts of the world. In India, one will often find politicians wearing white starched Kurta Pajama. As a tradition, civilians wear this dress during festivities and other special occasions like holi, religious ceremony, etc.The Kurta is a kind of loose shirt which is long and straight-cut. The Pyjamas are loose, baggy pants which are tied at the waist. Some men also wear the Kurta with the Lungi or Tehmat, which is a kind of sarong. During winters they can be seen wearing bright colourful sweaters.
Only soft material fabrics are used for making kurta pajama as it is supposed to be a comfortable loose fitting dress. Though good quality cotton is the most common material used for making kurta pajama, other fabrics like silk and satin are also used. Normally adults prefer wearing the kurta and pajama in neutral shades, as they give a very dignified look. Children, on the other hand, wear this dress in varied hues and patterns. Kolhapuri chappals are the most preferred footwear for this type of attire.
The traditional dress of Punjabi men includes the traditional shoes called the Jutti.
Jutti is commonly made of leather with a lot of embroideries, in silver and gold threads. These days, you can find Jutti in rubber soles as well. It is a type of handcrafted footwear typically associated with the Punjabis. The juttis have no left-foot or right foot distinction and take the shape of the feet over a period of time. The jutti of a man differs from that worn by women in its design. The one worn by men come with an extended curve at the tip of the foot. Women’s juttis have extensive embellishments and embroidery.
This is also well-known in India and most Punjabi love to wear the Jutti. Apart from punjabi shoes or jutti, there are many local styles such as Kasoori, Lahori and Peshawari Juttis. Nowadays, Patiala and Amritsar have become the major transfer centers for Indian handcrafted juttis. Many traders supply Punjabi Juttis from these places to India and other parts of the world.