Is there a "dress code" to be found at a Hindu/Buddhist temple?

@ulalume (714)
United States
January 14, 2009 9:46pm CST
Over the past few months I have been considering Hinduism/Buddhism as a way of life (to a degree, anyways). I have been interested in finding a temple in my area (of the USA), however have had some concern that I would show up and stick out like a sore thumb (unintentionally). So, does anyone attend one of these temples (in the USA particularly, or anywhere I suppose) and do they have "dress codes" (even if they are unsaid)? I would assume not based on my knowledge of the beliefs, but I just don't directly associate my style (heavy metal type) with these beliefs (particular in a fashion sense).
1 person likes this
5 responses
@GADHISUNU (2165)
• India
15 Jan 09
There is no dress code for a visitor to a Hindu Temple. In Hindu temples in USA they have written something n the dress code. You may follow if you like. Hinduism is quite a free religion on small details. Though unsaid you need be as simply dressed as possible. IOW, a western dress even jeans etc are OK While nobody might hazard a rebuke, people will be staring at you, if you are inappropriately dressed. By that,I mean you are not taking part in any of the temple rituals. If you are part of temple rituals then you may need to learn how to dress in that fashion. I attended a temple in Livermore, and found a couple the wife was an American perhaps married to an Indian. She was dressed in Indian style -what we call salwar-kameez. She was carrying herself very well.
@ulalume (714)
• United States
15 Jan 09
This is also another reason why I was wondering. How is "simplicity" really defined? I wear what I wear mostly because it is all I can afford. Is simplicity a robe or something? That is an honest question.
@GADHISUNU (2165)
• India
15 Jan 09
By simplicity I only mean heads do not turn in your direction.If locally people know that it is a normal dress I don't see how it will affect. Like dressing and behavior styles change from country to country.This much accommodation the temple authorities have made as I have seen at the Livermore temple.
• India
15 Jan 09
Hi there ulalume, I see that you are from USA, I do not know whether there is any dress regulation in Hindu Temples in USA, but I can assure you that there is no dress regulation as far as temples in India. You are most certainly welcome to our temples and there will be no discrimination. There are some temples in India where they have a rule that non hindus are not allowed, but this is not followed very strictly because we alway treat our visitors with love and we will never insult our guests. So just visit the temples in USA in your normal dress (even Jean and Tshirt), I do not think anybody will stop you. Cheers
@ulalume (714)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Thanks, I appreciate that. I figure that there is some level of "openness" among Hindus (which is why it has interested me). I do not think using the internet for information about the belief is necessarily the best way to collect information (beyond historical) which is why I would like to find a temple and go to physically experience it and potentially understand it. The reason I really wonder this is simply because my country (USA) is a very materialistic, physical realm (to say the least). So many people around me throw aside the spiritual world (and most of the time the emotional world too) just for the day-to-day physical things, which I see as having no real value in the end of things. I have experienced such things as Christianity and their churches, and in some way they always seem to be on a mission to convert you (or just outright be uninterested in you if you are a walking non-Christian, which has ultimately been my experience. Even lately, on occasion, I go with my parents. For a while the pastor and elders, among others, would come up and say hi. As emails began exchanging, which I found out in a very horrid way, all these warm hellos were smothered with nothingness and my existance in those church pews was nothing more than pointless. I just find Christianity to be vain, though still I choose to be accepting of those people.
• India
16 Jan 09
As my friend Gadhisunu, has mentioned, there is no need for any special dress or robes, you can go as you please. Regarding Hinduism, we do not believe in converting a person from one religion to ours. In fact there is no special day for us to pray like Christians have Sundays or Muslims on Fridays. In fact in some temples like the Om Sakthi Temple which I visit, there is no need for us to visit the temple also, and even if we pray from our house it is sufficient as we think if we pray sincierly it will reach gods ears. You can be a good Hindu as well as a good Christian as my newly converted friend maths has mentioned. Visit any temple in USA and you can clarify your doubts with any Hindus in the temple. Preferebly ask a elderly person, as the young ones are more interested in the very same materialistic things. I hope you will find out what you are seeking. Best wishes.
@surenm (1)
• South Africa
28 Jan 12
hi I am a born Hindu an i disagree with many of the comments, In the temples that i go 2 dress code is very important, it respect to god an women wear sari an important that married women cover heads wen approaching the alter. the dress needs not be provocative ie not body hugging cloths i long dress is good but jeans is not allowed in many temples an strictly no shoes in a temple. but at end of the day it all comes down to respect simple no revealing outfits is allowed. eastern outfits rnt expensive at all. i wish u all the best with ur quest to learn more anout the hindu faith. jai sri Krishna namaste
@vijigopi (991)
• United States
16 Jan 09
I live in the USA,and Hindu temples here have a lot of American visitors too. So long as you dress decently(I mean in clothes that are not too tight or revealing), you should be able to pull it off. Some people who are new to USA might find a westerner in a temple surprising, but others know there are many people like that. In fact, I've seen quite a lot of Indians dressed in western clothes too and nobody takes offense for that. The maximum you can do is turn heads in your direction which I guess you will have anyhow(atleast unnoticed by you )not that you are unwelcome, but because people are curious how a person who has not lived in a Hindu environment adjusts in a new place. If you can just go in a casual jeans or skirt and T-shirt, I guess that should be fine. Wherever you go, I hope you have an uplifting experience. That is the most important aspect. Good luck!!
• India
15 Jan 09
"Hindus are born, not made." So you can never be an authentic Hindu. You may be accepted because it's too much a humiliation to tell that your birth disqualify you to follow a particular religion. However, fact is you can never become a 'pure' Hindu. A Hindu is born.