Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Moustache

I can't grow one but if I could, India would be the place to put it on display. In Australia, the moustache is generally not an accepted facial accessory excluding a few over 50 year olds caught in a time warp. For one month of the year, in 'Movember', males are permitted to look like actors from 1970's cop shows in order to raise money for prostate cancer research but this is just a facade for university students to take advantage of the free burgers that Grilled restaurants give to those participating. I'm in no way interested in upholstering my upper lip and it has nothing to do with the fact that I need a 3 month head start to do it. Honest.

In India, however, the moustache is spectacular. Every second male has one. Not the Hitler or the Merv Hughes, but just a plain, whole upper lip moustache. I don't know the theory behind this. In fact, I really wanted to ask someone but was concerned I would be insulting some sort of ancient Indian moustache growing tradition. I always assumed the moustache was the Indian equivalent of the Australian akubra hat. The media says that we wear them, but in reality, we all think they look stupid. But I was wrong.

It also seems that the standard moustache is a little low-key for the higher regarded political figures and elders of the community. They can be seen with extravagant curls and twists that look like someone has knitted a face warmer for them. It looks almost impractical but they wear it with pride.

Or maybe there IS a physical benefit to having a moustache?? There is a large amount of dust and pollution in the air in India and some sort of filter under the nose would surely purify the air to some degree on it's way in? Whatever the reason, I respect it. It is not a fad that is going to catch on in Australia anytime soon but I don't want to call it too early. The mullet made a return and hideous fashion from the eighties is rising in popularity again. Perhaps Movember is just a taste of what's to come? I hope not.

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