Should the Trudeau Family Wear Indian Clothes in India?

justin trudeau india

Yesterday morning I noticed that my social media feeds were filling up with (pretty funny) memes involving our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bollywood boss Shah Rukh Khan. Apparently a lot of people can’t get over the fact that the Trudeau family has been wearing Indian clothes in India. I get it, they are a bit overdressed, no one really wears Sherwanis everyday, and my own daughter would choose a dress over a lehenga any day – but is it really such a big deal?

(To be fair – they wore Western at the Taj Mahal)

To be honest, I’m less concerned about how many Indian outfits they wore and more bothered about the outdated designs. I think their stylist could have done a better job pulling things together for them, but I’m not bothered by their desire to wear Indian in India. When I travel to India I play dress up – wearing salwar kameez, bindi, jhumke, the whole nine yards, so can I really fault the Trudeaus? Indian clothes are so fun to wear!

I wondered what some of my fellow bloggers thought about the whole thing and decided to ask around. You can read their thoughts below.

justin trudeau india(The most talked about photo – he doesn’t really look like a groom, does he?)

Mezba Mah – Mezba
Looks like he decided he wanted to attend one costume party after another. One or two times would have been tasteful.

Himshree Amit Surve – Crazy Foodies on Toes
 Well… I know internet is blowing the entire family down for the dress choice. . but I found them uber cute… They bought back memories of old bollywood movies where every gora had to wear “indian costumes or garlands” like in the song Hare Rama Hare Krishna… I felt nostalgic after seeing them.

Aakriti Bhatia – The Rani Diaries
I don’t really understand the big deal around it honestly. Living in Canada , I wear super glammed up Indian clothes at every opportunity I get, and so does every other desi I know. I understand that people in India don’t dress like that all the time but Justin Trudeau is coming from Canada where he has seen Indo-Canadian people dressed like that at every Desi event he has been too and I don’t think we should shame him for that. He’s trying to experience the culture and maybe people in India find it “ too much” but if the people in the diaspora are judging him then I think they are just being a bit hypocritical.

Salma Dinani – The Write Balance
I think they look cute and it’s nice that they are trying to wear clothes for the country they are visiting. The one thing I would take as a negative is, are all of these outfits costing the Canadian taxpayers?

Preeya Malik – Beauty Cubed
I think people who aren’t a fan of Justin Trudeau are going to find any reason to bring negative publicity on him. If he didn’t dress in Indian attire, they would’ve argued that he didn’t try to embrace the culture. The argument was the outfits looked costume like, but I think that’s the outfits, not his intention of wanting to wear Indian attire. The stylist did a bad job with the outfits. If the outfits were more stylish and more current, which is that more indo-western look, people would be revelling at the fact of how great they look. Addtionally, although it’s a political visit, it seems they are taking in the deep, rich culture the country has to offer, and it appears they are genuinely enjoying it. If you look at pictures of Stephen Harper’s visit from India, he looks miserable. lol

So what do you think, is it a big deal that we saw the Trudeau Family Wear Indian Clothes so often in their trip to India?

Raj is an editor at The South Asian Buzz, and the Director of Brand Relations at The South Asian Bloggers Network. She loves to test new recipes, take on over-ambitious home decor projects, and read everything she can get her hands on.


  1. Personally, I find it troubling that Trudeau and his family have appropriated Indian cultural wear. Our own children here in Canada have been taught that it is culturally insensitive to even dress up as Pocahontas on Halloween, less they be seen as making fun of our Indigenous populations. Unless one has been invited to wear the symbols of another culture, or had them bestowed upon you as a gift of friendship, I think it’s best to stick with your own attire.