Contributor: Diedre McLeod
Globetrotter at heart, I amplify my Cultural Voice through travelling and indulging in customs very different from my own.
One of my most awe-inspiring experiences was celebrating Diwali 2011 in Mangalore, India. Known as the “Festival of Lights,” everyone lights up the skyline with fireworks and firecrackers – excited that darkness was overcome and celebrating the dawning of light. No house or village is spared the festivities.
But what was most exciting for me was seeing all the beautiful Sarees on parade and ultimately wearing my very own.
The traditional Indian dress for females, the Saree, reveals as much as it conceals. It is also as complex as it is simple – especially when wrapping it! This delicate, free form dress requires a bit of practice (and a whole lot of pins) to get the ‘perfect wrap’.
It took about 20 minutes to wrap (this was partly because I brought the wrong pins). The style my Saree was wrapped in is called the Nivi Style and it’s the most popular style. In the Nivi Style, my saree was pleated in the front with one end of the saree tucked into the waistband of my Lehenga (petticoat) and the other end was thrown over my shoulder.
HOW TO WRAP YOUR SARI – Nivi Style
What you need:
Choli – bust length blouse worn with saree,
Lehenga – petticoat or skirt worn under saree, and
The Saree of course!
After 20 minutes of undoing and redoing my wrap, I was finally ready to go out and celebrate - firecrackers in hand, YAY ME!!
Source for saree instructions: http://www.utsavfashion.com/saree/wearsari.htm
Diedre McLeod is a Jamaican committed to cultural exploration. Though a business major, she follows her heart and dreams. Diedre lived in India for 6 months, and currently lives in Lyon, France.