Shy Indian women

Have you ever wondered why Indian women are shy?

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I think they are shy because they are told from a young age not to associate with boys. I hardly talked to boys as I went to Catholic convent school and then all women’s college. However, we aren’t shy with our family members, just other people. The shyness goes away after a while. But not all Indian women are shy, it’s all about family culture and how an Indian girl is brought up.

Shy Indian women
Shy Indian women in traditional sarees in a village in Madhya Pradesh, India.

The veil as seen in this photo is tradition for married women and nothing to do with religion. Many married Indian women especially in the villages are expected to cover their heads when they are talking to strangers. No wonder they have shied away from the camera and veiled their heads. The tradition of veils has almost died in the cities but still prevails in rural India. In essence, Indians are very tradition. We are very protective of our women and perhaps that is why Indian women are shy? Read more about the culture of India.

Why do you think Indian women are shy? Could it be due to lack of confidence, or do you think women are brought in a primitive way, kept under subjugation, or do they simply pretend to be shy or simply that India is a male dominated society and we are forced to be submissive?

Although things are changing for Indian women but the plight of women in India still remains unequal to men. Crimes against women in India are as high as ever before.

Further reading:

Can a woman pee like a man – female urination devices for your travels to India?
Be careful of rape in India – tips for female travellers

52 thoughts on “Shy Indian women”

    • It is possible that it was forced on women but I do not think its possible in India today. Yes in the olden days, it certainly was. I agree with the point that when education arrives in the household the purdah and the veil goes away.

    • HI Desi Traveler,

      You are a bit ignorant, it is about protecting women. If you are a beautiful woman, then it is obvious that people will look towards you either with a feeling of jealousy or lust.

      You may never know the dark intentions of others, hence it is better to take precautions.

      Like they say, “a stitch in time saves nine”

      Are you aware of the term “Buri nazar wale tera muh Kala” ?

      I hope you can take a hint, and understand the real truth and end your ignorance 🙂


      • It is never about a “beautiful woman ” .Instead it is about the immoral and pervert “men” of India. ..and it’s also about their (men)’s regressive thinking related to women whom they have been dominating since ages . Huh! What “lust” and bodily features do these men notice …when they commit heinous crimes like raping on a minor girl. ..?😡

  1. Interesting topic of discussion Shalu!

    There can be many reasons why Indian women are shy, though mainly I think it’s because it is in our culture and the way we are brought up.

    The same Indian woman, when she settles outside changes a great deal and perhaps won’t be as shy. There the culture changes again for her, though at heart she will always be an Indian and perhaps her shyness will be more than the other folks around her there.

    Nowadays, it’s mainly in the rural areas where you see more shy and submissive women. It again depends on their families and upbringing. Speaking of which, women are now reaching great heights and are no less than men in all the fields, and in many areas are able to handle things much better than men – isn’t it?

    I guess the shy phase is slowly getting over, at least in the cities and towns of our country.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Harleena, indeed. A lot of this has to do with our upbringing. Even urban women can be shy if they have been brought up in conservative environment. I agree that the shy phase is getting over at least in the cities. But the villages still has this tradition? Do you think we really need this tradition? Don’t you think its time Indian women discarded this tradition and moved on.

  2. The shyness of Indian women changes in degrees from place to place. In a place like Delhi (where I live) the women are far from being shy; they are very assertive and demanding.

    Cities change cultural and religious taboos quickly.

  3. I think typical Indian women are within themselves and family . They are not much outbound nor are bothered about new happenings. Also lot depends on their family upbringings, specially mention towards mother.

  4. I think these days only women from villages are shy. Women and girls from urban areas are not shy any more. They are more open and more connected and wants to run side by side by men in all fields.

  5. Hi Shalu,
    I saw you commenting on a lot of blogs I comment on so I wanted to stop by and say, “hi” and check out your site.

    I’ve seen shy women in all cultures but I also know shy women will open up around people they are comfortable with.

    I also think some people act shy even when they are not if it is expected of them.

    Take Care. 🙂

  6. Hi Shalu,
    I saw you commenting on a lot of blogs I comment on so I wanted to stop by and say, “hi” and check out your site.I believe they are following customs passed onto them by their elders.

  7. Culture, environment, education — these have a major role in moulding one’s character – be it a Man or Woman. Culture defines a lot of boundaries for women, from their very childhood. The society makes them believe what they are, when they actually don’t have to be.

    All this said, I definitely believe this era is getting over. Come to Bangalore, or any other modern city, you’d see more shy “men” than women probably 🙂

  8. Well written, but I think it’s the up-bringing.
    I myself am a Catholic girl, who went to a convent school. It wasn’t so strict as convent schools assume to be, we participated in sports and everything.
    My friends and myself were hockey players, who traveled from Santa Cruz East to Churchgate in the trains with just one teacher.
    We were all bold girls, still are, and we even traveled at times in the luggage compartment.
    But I do know, that some of my friends who were rowdy in school, because very timid when elders were near. It’s respect for elders I guess.
    A friend of mine wore shorts very boldly while practicing, but however she used to always change before her brother or father picked her up. It’s not like they didn’t know she was wearing such clothes, or didn’t approve, she just didn’t want them to see her in them.
    I used to find it weird at one time, but now I understand that is the mentality of most Indians.


  9. Nice post Shalu ji, Its a famous saying that shyness is the topmost jewellery of Indian women. But is just for the respect of elders infact women’s especially who lives in villages have done so many great things for the development of society.

  10. Hi Shalu jee

    Great post!

    I think the culture and upbringing is the reason, but women cannot be subjugated. I have seen many women from villages also, who are nowhere less than men with the type of respect they command.

    Thanks for sharing this.


  11. Hi Shalu,
    I don’t think Indian women are really shy.

    I feel those gestures are acquired culturally; it is how they are supposed to dress and act, or else maybe they would be considered too forward.

  12. I think the shyness of the Indian women is not all about lack of self-confidence or the domination of males in their society. It’s beautiful. Seldom can you see women who can walk down a flight of stairs like they’re characters in fairy tales because of their fluid, feminine nature. And seldom can you find women who bear the delicate characteristic of true ladies. And Indian women are beautiful.

  13. I’m part Sri Lankan (which almost Indian) and I have met a lot of my dad’s relatives and yes compared to me, they’re quite shy and reserved. On the other hand, I’m just all over the place. This is quite an interesting post, excellent share!

  14. The shyness of the Indian women spans a remarkable civilization. I mean, their being shy is not about being low on confidence or self-esteem, they’re actually raised that way. They may be submissive to the male population in their society, but they possess the great qualities that every woman should have: resilience, feminine, finesse, and grace under pressure.

  15. That shyness is not at all a negative trait, I think. Especially for Indian women. I mean, they’ve been shy for so many centuries, and it’s in their blood.That’s their way of life, and there’s nothing wrong about it.

  16. Such a beautiful photo. You really know to capture the moment there. I’ve met quite a few Indian women in my line of work and these career women are nothing short of shy. I guess those are the modern ones.

  17. Shyness does not depends on village or city, it depend upon family background and work culture. Sometime lack of knowledge makes our Indian lady shy. But it’s not only with girls, village boy feels the same when they got a chance to face big platform.
    I am agree with your reply that Delhi’s women are not shy because they don’t have time for this activity. Only our education system and youth can remove this old trend. Following tradition is OK but within some limits, beyond this, it’s a torture. Sometime I feels that elders always talk about our culture because they don’t have any other topic. 🙁

  18. yaa but they are just following there tradition what they had taught by there elders .
    sometimes it look really nice to be in limit but sometime it will act like a barrier in there freedom

  19. It is protecting women from the “Evil eye”, it represents jealousy, lust and all the negative emotions that others feel when they see something they do not have!

    Most people do not remember the truth, and ignorance plays a strong role in the deterioration of a community, we are a good example.

  20. Such a beautiful photo. Indian women are really not shy. But they are compelled to put up a mask for the sake of others. You really know to capture the moment there.

  21. i think the has changed recently. nowadays women are not shy anymore..they are very open and they are not afraid to talk to anybody and express themselves freely even in the village

  22. I think typical Indian women are within themselves and family . They are not much outbound nor are bothered about new happenings. Also lot depends on their family upbringings, specially mention towards mother.


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