Saturday, August 25, 2012

Indian Saris: Saree Wear & its meaning for Indian Girls

Saree wear is a real dilemma. How to wear Kerala sarees is another dilemma we tend to have. The typical Kerala saree wear was in the two piece format - the set and the mundu but thankfully, we also have the full length kerala saree as an alternative now. Wondering why I am unsually talking about saree wear on my blog? Here's a guy's version of how men dress  traditionally for Onam, do read it. 

Well, the festive occasion of Onam is just around the corner. For Keralites across the world, it is an emotionally high 'home-coming' occasion. You could be in New York or in Dallas or in London or Paris or Johnannesberg or New Delhi or Chennai or Calcutta, but you are not going to sit back and eat doughnuts or pizzas on Onam day. You also won't want to slip into casual T-shirt and jeans on Onam. 

Maybe it is a psychological thing but I have seen that worldwide, Malayalils revisit their memories, their longstanding love and nostalgia for Kerala and their own cultural roots during the season of Onam in particular.

Saree Wear and its meaning for Indians
Saree wear is an important part of a girl's transition into womanhood. It is not merely the donning of a dress. It is the blossoming and celebration of womanhood. For the same reason, an Indian girl is unlikely to forget the first time she wore a saree. Years later, she would still remember the exact moment, the exact colors and textures of the fabric that celebrated and honored her beauty in a very special way. 

Typically, the day an Indian girl first wears her saree is almost a celebrated moment in her family. Culturally, saree wear also marked a subtle invitation to other families that yes, the girl of this house is blossoming into a woman and yes, you can come forward with marriage proposals, we may consider it. From then on, a girl may find reasons to wear sarees. It could be a wedding in the family, a temple festival or even a formal school farewell where you sign off from that period that you associated with your growing years.

Indian Designer Sarees remind me of pulp fiction
Indian designer sarees are a big rage and yes, they are probably spun by some of the best and most talented designers in the fashion industry. You can just walk into any fine saree shop and you will be confused by the rich range of Indian designer sarees that you can choose from. There's just so much to choose from. Hats off to these designers who have given Indian saree wear a new lease of life and lots of incredibly creative options to choose from. I respect that. However, it doesn't work for me because I am old fashioned and narrow minded in my thinking about saree wear.

Personally, I love to wear Kancheevaram sarees and sorry, I am too old fashioned to ever consider wearing an Indian designer saree. I have a decent collection of Kancheevaram sarees and I can never resist them. The flip side is that most of them are very heavy and therefore, it is difficult to wear them with grace and poise. Most of my friends admire Kancheevaram sarees but when it comes to wearing them, they don't want to carry so much 'weight' on their frames so they opt for the Indian designer sarees. Till date, the Indian designer sarees have neither caught my interest nor my curiosity. Unfortunately, I see them in the same light that I see pulp fiction.

Classic Kancheevaram Sarees are like poetry in silk
The classic Kancheevarams win my heart totally. A Kancheevaram saree makes me go dizzy in the head because I can never resist the sheer richness of the timeless, beautifully crafted Kancheevaram. When I see a Kancheevaram, I can just close my eyes and get into the heart and soul of its weaver because you can experience the weaver's pain and joy in the design of the Kancheevaram saree. I believe that every thread of the Kancheevaram saree is crafted with an artist's dream of accomplishing something remarkable for another human being and it represents the artist's passion for exquisite details. It's like being able to wear a poem, not merely a spun garment.  



When you wear a Kancheevaram, you feel like you have stepped out of a painting because the colors are so rich and deep and best of all, the colors define your personality so well. It's not about how you look but it's more about how a Kancheevaram saree makes you look and feel about your own self. It makes you feel like royalty and when you wear a Kancheevaram saree, you cannot be any less. 

So, what type of saree wear do you like? Remember the first saree you wore or that you bought? What was it like? 

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7 comments:

Abhilash Pillai said...

Happy Onam Swapna. It was a nice post and thanks for adding a Tag.

Mom with a Dot said...

Kancheevaram's are the BEST. My first saree was a Jade green Venkatagiri Cotton saree with lots of zari on it and my sister wore the same saree in navy blue.

Oldfox004 said...

I wore my first saree on the last day of school for the Farewell day function. I dont know where it was from but it was a deep red with fresh dark green bordered silk saree with peacocks for motifs...it is still there at my mother's place and its so beautiful!

I last wore a saree during Durga Puja last year and it was also the fist time i had worn a saree on my own! I have 3 Kancheevaram's too but not finding any occasion to wear them:(

Thank you for sharing about sarees...you really refreshed me this Sunday...got to bring out all my sarees for some 'airing' now:) Happy belated Onam to you and ur family!

samol shehub said...

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Online Saree Shop said...

The most famous South Indian sarees are none other than the Kancheevaram silk sarees. These exquisite silk sarees are woven with silver threads dipped in pure gold. Known to be durable and expensive, these sarees are popular all over the world. One of the most distinguishing features of the Kancheevaram Sarees includes its thick silk base.

Nice blog post. Thanks for sharing.

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