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Kerala had the most cruel and rigid caste system in India. From 800 AD onwards the elite Hindu caste - the Namboodiris - held control. People of low castes were banned from public markets and had to go NAKED above the waist - regardless of gender. The Namboodiris considered themselves polluted if they as much as saw someone of low caste a hundred metres away and could punish them by death.
IT WAS COMMON TO SEE WOMEN IN 1950 MALABAR; DOING AGRICULTURAL WORK IN FIELD WITH JUST A LUNGI OR WHITE MUNDU AND NO CLOTHS ABOVE ,MEANS HALF NAKED.1970 KERALA -PHOTO -TRIVANDRUM WELCOME TO INDIRA GANDHI- PLEASE NOTE THAT -WEARING PANTS/TROUSERS/JEANS NOT YET A FASHION FOR MEN [NOW IT IS A FASHION FOR WOMEN ALSO] WEARING OF CHAPPALS- FOR FEET- WAS GETTING POPULAR AFTER 1955 ,BEFORE THAT ALL WALKED BARE FEET ,EXCEPT A FEW GOVT OFFICERS .
ALSO THERE WAS A LOT OF POVERTY :-
due to poverty many or most could not have a proper dress ,or afford to have chappals/slipons /or shoe etc
some very poor men just could afford to have just a "konam"(in malayalam ) langotti(in hindi) loin cloth(in english) and used to walk with that on road and it was not noticed by any one;once i saw such a scene in kayamkulam town of late 1940's
later in life while travelling from kerala to Bombay on the then newly made highway in 1972 was surprised to see men walking on the deserted highway wearing , just that __a 'konam'- north of uduppi town near karwar town '
And i have seen topless women,both young and old working on fields as agriculture labour in Malabar 1960's;which was the fashion then among some agriculture workers,in malabar
school dress:-[ A TYPICAL SCHOOL "UNIFORM"MEANS NO UNIFORM ,NO SHOES,NO SOCKS,UPTO AND INCLUDING SCHOOL FINAL CLASS-11TH CLASS]
MOST STUDENTS OF 1950 TO 1970 ATTENDED COLLEGE WITH WHITE MUNDU AND SHIRT AND MOSTLY NO SHOES OR EVEN CHAPPEL-
THOSE DAYS WEARING PANTS WAS NOT YET FASHIONABLE !! AND MANY STUDENTS WERE TOO POOR TO BUY THAT
there was no school uniforms in any school of 1950
children were allowed to use whatever dress they could afford and attend the school
children were allowed to use the same dress for home and school ,means any type of dress of any color ;
naturally due to poverty children used to attend school without shoes or any type of foot wear
i myself attended my school classes with just bare feet ,walking all the way from home[NO SCHOOL BUSES THEN;WHILE THE CITY BUS SERVICE STARTED MANY YEARS LATER] ,could remember once i used the same off white pyjama to sleep and absentmindedly used it in school also with out anybody noticing it at all;
Posted By : Akhil Shankar, On Jun 10, 2013 03:13:24 PM