There comes a time when one must turn off Kourtney and Kim take New York in order to write their blog post. This is that time for me.
Before we proceed, please click “play” to set the mood and enhance the following reading experience. I promise it’s somewhat relevant to this post :
AIGHT. So Spring’s coming up. Actually it’s here.Bag up the sweatpants, make a quilt out of your cardigans, and bring out that pastel colored ish.
From what I learned form Michelle Phan, Spring is a big fashion season or something. So what better a time than now to rap wit chu guys about desi fashion, AM I RIGHT??
No? Okay…well the whole Spring thing was just a pathetic excuse for me to talk about desi clothes because I’ve been wanting to do that lately. So Imma do it anyways 🙂
Desi countries are very diverse, including in their clothing. Many people know about sarees, but there are also lehengas, salwar kameezes, , and a bunch more. SO LET’S GET STARTED, HUH? First up, we got the saree.
The saree dates back to the time of Indus Valley Civilization, which was around 2800-1800 B.C. To wear a saree, you basically have to be wearing a shirt underneath, which is more visible in this picture of Aishwarya Rai: There’s also a skirt at the bottom. Basically, the 6 or so yards of cloth, which is the saree, is draped over the shirt and the skirt in various ways. There are TONS of ways to drape the saree. Like tons. Idk how to express that further. In my teenage mind, “tons” is the most accurate description of a large amount. So tons.
I’ve never actually worn a saree, but here’s a short memoir of wearing a saree by my sensational Telugu friend who wore one last night:
It made feel pretty I guess
It’s a little tight around my waist
so I couldn’t wait to get it off
but many indian woman wear them on a regular basis so they must be comfortable
of course those daily sarees aren’t as gorgeous as the special event ones but
Thank you for those words.
So yeah! Sarees are worn in many places in India, but not all. For example, I’ve never actually worn a saree. I don’t think they’re too common for people from the state of Punjab. But in many other places in India, as well as parts of other South Asian countries, such as Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, sarees are worn.
Look how sassy this woman is tho.
Anyways, salwar kameez.
So the salwar kameez is worn in India, especially in the north, and also in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and various areas in central Asia. These are very common in the Punjab region of both India and Pakistan and are often referred to as “Punjab suits.” As a Punjabi myself, salwar kameezes are the norm for my family, and omg. They are so gosh darn comfortable. Like do you see those pants? They’re unbelievably baggy and wonderful 🙂 So the “salwar” is the pant part, and the “kameez” is the long, tunic-like shirt. According to Wikipedia, “kameez” comes from the Arabic word “qamis,” which is possibly derived form the Latin word “camisa,” meaning “shirt.” It’s also possible that it comes from the Hellenistic Greek word “kamision.”
Yay for linguistic connections!
Anyways, there are different types of salwars, like the Patiala salwar, which is super baggy and has a ton of pleats:
There’s also the pajama (prounounced pahj-um-ah), which is a tight sort of pant that you wear with the kameez:
Notice the piece of cloth around the sassy purple woman’s neck. This is called a “chunni,” or “dupatta.” Most of the time, these just serve as matching scarves that can be worn different ways with the salwar kameez. For Sikh women, though, the chunni serves as a head covering.
Many Sikh women wear a turban. There are more Sikh men who do so–somehow that’s how it’s developed culturally. But it’s not because it was thought that men were more deserving of turbans than women. The Gurus were pretty clear on that. But often, Sikh women wore the chunni over their heads. Some Sikh women still wear a chunni on a day to day basis, and all Sikh women cover their heads when in a gurdwara or in front of the Sikh holy book, either with a chunni, a turban, or both, like this-
Men are required to cover their heads in the same circumstances as well.
And taking us home is…
The Lehenga Choli!
The lehenga is a long skirt that goes to the feet, and the choli is the shirt worn with it. (Not to be confused with chollai, which are chickpeas lol). So to me, it seems like the lehenga choli is kind of like what’s worn underneath a saree (which, remember, is the name for the 6 yard piece of cloth which is draped over the shirt and skirt). Right? Cause like, the saree is a shirt, a skirt, and a piece of cloth, and the lehenga is just a shirt and skirt. Okay wait, this just in, from my mom: the lehenga skirt is more elaborate than the skirt worn with a saree. Okay. Well there goes my theory. Growing up, I’d usually wear salwar kameezes to gurdwara and other desi functions, but every now and then I’d wear a lehenga. Since I was used to the whole pants and shirt deal, lehengas always seemed more girly and dress-like to me. They’re definitely more dress-like, because there are no pants underneath the skirt.
Well, that’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed this journey into the land of desi clothing. Do you guys have any cultural clothing, desi or not? Yes, that was my attempt to get you people to comment. Seriously though, feel free to comment 🙂 I’d love to hear what you have to say! And I guess now would be a good time to do this:
I’ve been wanting to say thanks to everyone who’s been commenting or reblogging or liking or following. I’m just a random brown teenager with a somewhat dysfunctional life. In tenth grade I had to start a blog for school, and called it ShadesofBrwn. After the class ended, I started the weekly post thing, and I’ve really enjoyed
rambling endlessly writing about my heritage and stuff and learning LOADS along the way. And if you’ve commented or reblogged or even just read any of my stuff, that really, sincerely, means a lot to me 🙂 ❤
Sorry for being awkward.
See you next week!