Colonial mindset

First impression is the last impression, they say, and I tend to agree. I recently flew a newly launched airline and the uniform of the cabin crew, especially the air hostesses, left me puzzled.

As it turned out, I was not the only one who was put off by the choice of attire. Many of us doctors, while having a cup of tea in our seminar room later in the day, wondered why that airline would have chosen such a uniform for its identification.

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Red is my favourite colour, but shirt and trousers for female cabin crew is a clear deviation from cultural values. A dress code of the West has been applied to a South Asian airline; why? Is Pakistani shalwar-kameez-dupatta combo outdated? Are our own traditions and styles outmoded?

It seems that after decades of ‘independence’, we still want to look like our former colonial masters. Are we a slave nation? Had the name of the airline been ‘Western Airline’ or something similar, I would never think of that dress as objectionable, but the name was anything but Western. However, choosing a name steeped in patriotism and choosing a staff uniform steeped in Western values is indicative of confusion among the decision-makers.

Fly this new commercial airline and you will understand that even in next 100 years we can never improve our education, industry and development because we want to hide our failures in some confused appearance where we can take sighs of relief by bluffing our minds that we are as successful as ‘them’.

I had wanted to try the new airline to see what good it has to offer, but when I entered the aircraft, the sight of hostesses just turned my dopamine levels into a cortisol surge, only if you know what I mean.

A few days later, I overheard some male colleagues discussing how air hostesses were disrespecting their profession by choosing to wear such uniforms. But the problem is not with the hostesses. They are simply wearing the uniform chosen by the management.

The management of the airline concerned should either change its name to something less patriotic, or change its dress code to something more Pakistani.

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