Why do young Nagas shun Indian clothes with a vengeance? Thereby hangs a tale*.Wearing your rebellion of course is not just politically motivated.
Tapping into this streak has always been a goldmine for marketers.
Denim is a classic case. What started out as a fabric for workmen became a statement…often of rebellion. Denim straddles a wide spectrum from rough casual clothes to high fashion…all tinged with that provocative je ne sais quoi. Denim may have had its ups and downs but then it has always made a comeback stronger than ever. Think about it. It’s the only such fabric in the world that laughs in your face if you are the ‘stiff upper lip’ kind and gets away with it.
Clothing is of course a natural for displaying an in-your-face rebellious streak.Could you use rebellion for selling a car? Well many years ago the Beetle did that by confronting those gigantic American cars and winning. A Bentley that drives up may evoke admiration and envy. Let’s say it sported a streak of denim (as indeed some bespoke models do). Then it’s unlikely to be dismissed as some rich fat cat’s toy. Suddenly it’s a statement that the owner may be rich, but not exactly in love with the establishment.
In an age of ballpoint pens and jotters, a fountain pen could cleverly be projected as an instrument of rebellion. Or even more impractically, a quill and a bottle of ink for desk use.
All we need is to electrify our minds and one could use rebellion in unusual ways and settings. Conformity is ho-hum. Or as Fido Dido put it so memorably, “Normal is Boring”
*Forgive the history lesson that follows!
When the Church entered Nagaland years ago, the Nagas were dressed in next to nothing.The priests after converting them to Christianity promptly forced them to give up their ‘pagan’ ways and urged them to wear clothing …western clothing. After years of being under British rule, the Nagas loathed the idea of losing their identity and becoming part of India. Years of strife and militancy followed which culminated in the formation of Nagaland. Young Nagas were however not so easily appeased. And one way to show their defiance was to shun Indian modes of dress and wear only fashionable western attire.