How to wear a sari video
I found this cute video on how to wear a saree when I was reading about the increasing popularity of the saree in Pakistan. For a long time, the saree was not approved of in Pakistan as it is considered a ‘Hindu’ garment. Perhaps because our Bollywood movies and TV serials are increasingly being aired across the border, the saree is catching on there. The Nation, a Pakistani newspaper has said:
Reviled as an ‘alien’ dress, especially during the 1980s as part of Zia’s “Islamisation” drive, when the conservatives and the clergy termed it “vulgar” and “revealing” because women wearing it expose their midriffs, the sari is making “a strong come back”
Actually sarees can be as revealing or not revealing, depending on the wearer. Conservative people from certain communities wrap it around themselves, hiding their bodies. In fact as the video shows it is possible to hide every bit of flesh if one wishes to. But in most parts of India women do not do this. Blouses for example have low back lines and necklines. Even middle class women dress this way, not necessarily those who are “fashionable”. And as for exposing the midriff, we don’t consider it “exposure.” A bit of the midriff showing in a saree is considered quite alright. The girl in the picture is showing a large part of her midriff, but this is not the norm. The sari is well suited to our hot weather. It is cool to wear in summer as it allows ventilation and one can cover the head to protect oneself from the harsh sun.
In the state of Maharashtra the traditional saree is nine yards long (called the navvari saree) but it is worn so that there is freedom of movement…the saree is similar to a trouser. This type of saree usually reveals a good part of the ankles and the freedom this gives enables women to work in the fields. In fact working class women tend to wear their sarees pretty high. Ofcourse the middle classes and higher classes wear this type of saree too, or rather used to. Now it is only the older generation who does so. For some reason this kind of saree is dying out amongst the higher classes. I think this is sad, as this saree allows far more freedom of movement to women that the ‘gol’ (round) saree which has become the norm today.
(The first photo of th e young woman is from the Wiki, and the last from cbmphotos. The woman in the purple navvari saree is taken by me on the streets of Mumbai and is copyrighted. )
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