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The Moustache

June 15, 2011

One of the things that you gradually/as soon as you step off the plane, notice in India is that at least 80% of the men have mustaches.  They are also extremely noticeable since they are always black except for the older gents, and usually pretty bushy.  They are also commonly referred to in India as the “Mo” or the “Moosh.”  I have asked why so many men have mustaches and here are the responses:

1. It shows your masculinity.

2. It acts as a natural air filter

3. Gandhi wanted people not to shave to protest the importation of razors.  He is still such a huge symbol here that I think just because he had a mustache is a good enough reason for many others to have one.

While the first two reasons are very practical, and the third is definitely a cultural phenomenon, I felt certain there had to be some kind of religious reason- in one of the articles below it mentions “hairy hinduism.”  Alas while I found that Sikhs and some Hindus were forbidden from wearing the mustache, and that sometimes Hindus shaved their mustaches to show they were in mourning, I could find no religious basis for just the mustache, as opposed to beard and mustache, oh well.  This site details the importance of hair for the Hindu, but again nothing on having a mustache.  So I guess Indians just like having the mustache for the reasons above, and I guess that they look stylish.  However that is getting challenged.

Here and here are articles stating that the demise of the mustache may be imminent.  One says that more women would choose to kiss a clean shaven man than a mustached man, but while that may be true, about 90% of all marriages in India are arranged and India is still a male oriented society so I’m not sure how much effect that will have, or how much the woman has a choice in the matter.  The other article details that the cultural icons, cricket players and Bollywood actors, have begun to shave their mustaches, and so the public may follow.  I think I’m going to start growing one like this:

This is the one I want

As a last aside, how do you spell mustache.  I sure thought it was moustache, but the spell checker says I was dead wrong, again, oh well.



3 Comments leave one →
  1. p Jennings permalink
    June 16, 2011 10:45 am

    I can’t wait to see your mustache when we pick you up in August!

  2. Amalia permalink
    June 17, 2011 6:46 am

    hahahahaha good luck with that!!!

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