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Clothes worn by Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists

Discussion in 'English Only' started by farhad_persona, May 1, 2011.

  1. farhad_persona

    farhad_persona Senior Member

    Farsi
    Hello everyone.
    I'm writing a story about Al-Qaeda and Taliban Terrorists and I'm trying to describe the clothes they wear. Please take a look at this pictures:

    http://leifnoerholm.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/taleban-larslc3b8kke.jpg

    http://topnews.in/law/files/al-qaeda-training-camp.jpg

    http://scrapthescanners.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/alqaeda_training_camp1.jpg

    I googled: the clothes worn by Taliban, but I didn't find anything.
    So, how would you describe the clothes in the pictures above?

    What are those long loose cothes that Bin-laden wears called?
     
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Hello, Farhad Persona. There may be better words for the clothes worn in those pictures, but I think I'd use "tunic" to describe their long shirts, "loose-fitting pants/trousers" to describe their pants, and "knit hats" to describe their hats.
     
  3. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Try shalwar kameez.
     
  4. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    It doesn't surprise me that the industrious Copyright has found the right term for this clothing. If you are writing your story for English-speakers who aren't familiar with Urdu, Pashto, or other languages in that part of the world, you might want to include a description in plain English of what you're describing, Farhad Persona.

    If you are writing for a public familiar with the term, then "shalwar kameez" won't need any definition or explanation. As you are writing a story rather than a scholarly work, describing this term once in your text would probably be the best solution for a less-traveled or curious readership. If you don't mind including a few footnotes or endnotes in your text, then you might place the description there.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  5. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    You might want to remember that it's considered the national dress of Pakistan, so the shalwar kameez is not particularly associated with terrorists of any nationality.

    You'll find more information on Wiki, including this beginning paragraph:

    Shalwar kameez (also spelt salwar kameez or shalwar qameez) is the dress worn by both men and women in South Asia and Central Asia. It is a unisex dress similar in manner to shirt and pants worn by westerners. The phrase shalwar kameez is a generic term used to describe different costumes which have been developed in different regions (the Sindhi Suthan; Kashmiri Suthan, the Dogri pyjama). Traditionally, it has been worn in Afghanistan, Northern India, and Pakistan.

    (As for being industrious, it's easier when you have them in your closet -- and Indians and Pakistanis are two of the larger ethnic groups in Hong Kong, so I see them all the time. :))
     
  6. farhad_persona

    farhad_persona Senior Member

    Farsi
    Thank you very much.
    I googled shalwar kameez and it's what I had in mind.
    Don't we have an English term to refer to these long loose pieces of clothing?
    In my story I have to refer to this clothes frequently and although I know I can add an explanation, I'd rather use an English term for it.
     
  7. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    You could just call it a tunic. Another possibility is to define the term the first time you use it. (He stood and brushed the crumbs from his shalwar kameez, the traditional tunic of his country.)
     
  8. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Just a clarification: shalwar kameez describes two garments worn together. The shalwar are the pants; the kameez is the shirt.
     
  9. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Oops, thanks. I thought that "shalwar" was the adjective saying what kind of "kameez" it is. In that case, I'd revise my example to something like, "...brushed the crumbs from his shalwar kameez, the loose trousers and long tunic typical of his region". Maybe.
     
  10. farhad_persona

    farhad_persona Senior Member

    Farsi
  11. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Who is your audience?

    Edit: Having asked that, I would do one of two things for general audiences:

    A version of Nunty's suggestion:
    The young trainees in the camp wear
    shalwar kameez, the loose trousers and long shirt common to the region -- and hide their faces/identities behind balaclavas.

    A plain-vanilla version:
    The young trainees in the camp wear the loose trousers and long shirts common to the region -- and hide their faces/identities behind balaclavas.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  12. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Late comer to this thread. I've also heard the term kurta being used to describe the costume, although strictly speaking it refers to the long shirt. I have a suit tucked in my wardrobe, and I think of it as my Indian costume for appropriate occasions. The Indians I have spoken to use the term kurta. The version for women is the kurti.

    Tunic on its own sounds non-specific (and I might have an image of a Roman or a medieval tunic). If you say Afghan tunic, Pakistani tunic, Indian tunic, etc., it might be helpful - depending on context. And as Copyright implies, it depends on your audience.
     
  13. farhad_persona

    farhad_persona Senior Member

    Farsi
    Wow! thank you guys. very helpful tips.
    So, I guess there is no specific English term for referring to these type of clothes without having to define the term or add an explanation.
    My audience are supposedly English-speaking without any knowledge about Afghanistan culture.

    Thank you Copyright. this is actually really good.

    You guys are all awesome!
     
  14. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Just a note, Farhad: In "and hide their faces/identities behind balaclavas," it's intended to be either faces or identities, not both.
     
  15. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Hi farhad,

    I understand exactly what you're saying here.

    Maybe these sites will tweak your creativity. Perhaps instead of writing names of clothing, you can instead focus on colors or styles - maybe beautiful fabrics in some of your scenes. It will break up the monotony of just naming the different clothes themselves.

    Might also enrich your scenes, too.

    I realize these duds might be too fancy for fighters, but you can never have too much research material, right? :)

    Two sites:

    http://afgclassics.com/mens/

    http://www.zarinas.com/
     

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