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The Bee-yoot-ee-ful Sari

Thursday, June 02, 2011
There is a poll question on the left-hand side bar of my blog that asks how you feel about seeing someone wear clothing from a culture that is not their own.  I wrote a short blog post about the same subject some time ago while on a visit to Chicago.  Naturally, I'm one Brown Girl that thinks it's a compliment.  In fact, if I were at home, I would go deep into my closet and pull out my two silk saris, take photos and share them with you here.  Bee-yoot-ee-ful.

I bought my saris over 15 years ago and vaguely remember the instructions I received from the lovely East Indian woman at her store in Berkeley, California as she taught me (more than once) how to wrap, pleat and drape the lovely yards of liquid fabric. (Among my other safe addictions like travel, celebrating culture, collecting Brown mermaids, etc., I am also addicted to textiles and fabric.)  And while I haven't worn my saris in awhile, I freely admit that I do hang out in my closet and stare at them from time to time pretending I remember how to wrap myself appropriately.  In the event there comes a time for me to wear either of my lovely girls again, I'm pleased to report that there are tutorials on the Web:

My husband wore a man's sari at our wedding similar to the one pictured here (but nicer).  It was the perfect compliment to my linen wedding dress which was modeled after this Therez Fleetwood original pictured left.  (Unfortunately, Ms. Fleetwood's gorgeous wedding dress was not in my budget and I was afraid the weight of the fabric wouldn't work for my Caribbean destination wedding.)  Isn't it beautiful?  #sigh  Okay, back to saris...

Saris are worn in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malayasia, Burma, Pakistan, etc.  There are different types of saris, different spellings of saree, different styles and ways to wear saris and different sari fabrications depending upon the region.  The most popular saris seen in mainstream media are typically two pieces:  a choli (which is the top) and the sari, which can be up to 8 feet long, but which is typically 6 yards long by 1 yard wide of glorious fabric.  For a bit of eye candy, please see the beautiful slideshow below.

Tamil Girl wearing a upper body tunic over a sari.
circa 1912 / Source: Wiki
There are some blogging rules somewhere that say  all blog posts must have a definitive point of view and some type of deep meaning.  Well, I have rebellious tendencies (LOL) and there is no real deep meaning to this post and my point of view is pretty obvious.  (Besides, rules are sometimes meant to be broken.  Oooooo.)  The bottom line is that I simply wanted to show off some traditional cultural fabrics and clothing that I find gloriously beautiful and then share.  I hope the blogging police don't come for me.  


April Thompson on: June 2, 2011 at 10:43 AM said...

Oh I LOVE saris and Indian culture (a big reason why Durban, South Africa is one of my favorite cities). My friend and her sister have brought me back tunics, but I have yet to find a sari that fits. Always on the hunt!

Unknown on: June 2, 2011 at 11:36 AM said...

April, You travel so much, the next time you're in the SF Bay area, come to Berkeley! I know that sounds weird, but there is an entire section of town on University Avenue with Indian stores. I bet you'll find something that fits! It's heaven in those stores! =)

Samantha Sophia on: June 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM said...

I love saris and always wanted to take a trip to India. During a trip to China one of the girls I met had the opportunity to back-pack through a large portion of India. Her experiences sounded amazing! Growing up in South Florida, I always had a diverse group of friends a few of which were very traditional Indians. I always had a great first hand view of the beauty of their clothing and overall culture.

Unknown on: June 2, 2011 at 10:26 PM said...

Sophia! Thank you for your comments! It's cool living in a cultural stew, isn't it? India is on my bucket list too! So many places to go....


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