Fan-tache-tic India, CNN // 27 April 2011

Mo, tash, ‘stache, lip caterpillar, slug, even snickering cockroaches (as a pitiful poet once called Stalin’s).

Call it what you will, the mustache comes with a fair dollop of history — and mirth — wherever it grows.

From Magnum PI-styled symbol of virility to Borat-esque nose-tickler, the mustache shouts “pride” louder than most hairstyles.

And nowhere is man’s dedication to the hirsute upper lip more apparent than in India.

Indian history is inexorably linked to whiskers and though historians can’t be positive about its exact origins, the finely coiffed ‘tache can be at least partly attributed to the British, says Chris Stowers, co-author of “Hair India, A Guide to the Bizarre Beards and Magnificent Moustaches of Hindustan.”

Read the rest of my piece for CNN International’s CNNGo.com.

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