We belong to that generation which is at the cusp of Millennial and Gen X, who always wanted to wear an irreverent attitude towards our culture, custom and tradition. We always thought we should not do certain things like showing care towards people, crying in front of others, expressing ourselves et al. because that might make us look ‘un-cool’. But, if you scratch the surface, you might see a different world.
I am not an exception either and rather fall into the extreme category who always had a disregard for tradition and was made to think that B2 (Body *Brain) = Constant. Therefore, I wanted to shed away all sort of association with beauty or femininity in the fear of getting slotted into that special category ‘Ladies’ seen in buses/trains in our home country. Though that did not deter hooligans to make lewd comments as and when they found the venue and time as appropriate.
However, in between the struggle to fight with the gender inequality in the world around me and also with my inner conflicts, there was one thread which kept the femininity alive in me. That is my love for Saree, which made me reconcile with my root, my ethnic origin. Saree is one such garment which is timeless, graceful, elegant yet sensuous. It suits any body type if matched with the right accessories.
Now, let me take some help from Wikipedia to get some technical details and understand where it originated from. Though there have been debates about Wiki’s credibility, I fully rely on it, because it is convenient and always up-to-date.
A Sari/Saree is a South Asian female garment that consists of a drape varying from five to nine yards in length and 60 cm to 1.20 m in breadth that is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder. The saree is widely regarded as a symbol of Indian, Nepalese, Bangladesh and Sri Lankan cultures.
Fig. 1 A traditionally worn Saree
In the history of Indian clothing, the sari can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilisation, which flourished during 2800–1800 BC around the western part of the Indian subcontinent. Over the years, each region has developed a distinct style in terms of fabric, weaving style, or motif. Predominantly, we have four types of sarees in India as mentioned below:
• Central- Chanderi, Maheshwari, Kosa etc.
• Eastern- Jamdani, Muslin, Baluchari, Taant, Mooga, Jute Cotton, Ikkat, Bomkai etc.
• Western: Bandhni, Patola, Paithani, Lugade etc.
• Southern: Mysore Slik, Kanchipuram, Pochampally, Bandar, Coimbatore cotton etc.