Indian Culture and Saree

Write By: text_none_author Published In: Indian Culture Created Date: 2015-02-25 Hits: 1001 Comment: 0

Sari, is derived from the sanskrit word 'sati'. Sati means a strip of cloth. This sound first evolved into 'sadi' and then into 'sari'. There are some indications which suggest that the sari originated in the Indus valley civilization in 2800 to 1800 BC.

Sari is Indian traditional attire also popular in other South East Asian countries. In some states of southern India, the nine-yard long saree is worn. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat with a fitted upper garment commonly called a blouse (ravika in the south and choli elsewhere). In a sari the midriff is left bare. This is because according to Hindus, the navel is considered the source of life and creativity (maybe because through it the foetus is fed).

Red wedding saris are the traditional garment choice for brides in Indian culture. Sari fabric is also traditionally silk. Over time, colour options and fabric choices for Indian brides have expanded. Today fabrics like crepe, Georgette, charmeuse, and satin are used, and colors have been expanded to include gold, pink, orange, maroon, brown, and yellow as well. Indian brides in Western countries often wear the sari at the wedding ceremony and change into traditional Indian wear afterwards (lehnga, choli, etc.). There are more than 80 recorded ways to wear a sari. Fashion designer Shaina NC declared, “I can drape a sari in 54 different styles".

The French cultural anthropologist and sari researcher Chantal Boulanger categorised sari drapes in the following families.

  • Nivi – styles originally worn in Andhra Pradesh; besides the modern nivi, there is also the kaccha nivi, where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back. This allows free movement while covering the legs.
  • Bengali and Oriya style.[25]
  • Gujarati/Rajasthani/Pakistani – after tucking in the pleats similar to the nivi style, the loose end is taken from the back, draped across the right shoulder, and pulled across to be secured in the back
  • Maharashtrian/Konkani/Kashta; this drape is very similar to that of the male Maharashtrian dhoti. The center of the sari (held lengthwise) is placed at the center back, the ends are brought forward and tied securely, then the two ends are wrapped around the legs. When worn as a sari, an extra-long cloth of nine yards is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulders and the upper body. They are primarily worn by Brahmin women of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.
  • Madisar – this drape is typical of Iyengar/Iyer Brahmin ladies from Tamil Nadu. Traditional Madisar is worn using 9 yards saree.[26]
  • Kodagu style – this drape is confined to ladies hailing from the Kodagu district of Karnataka. In this style, the pleats are created in the rear, instead of the front. The loose end of the sari is draped back-to-front over the right shoulder, and is pinned to the rest of the sari.
  • Gobbe Seere – This style is worn by women in the Malnad or Sahyadri and central region of Karnataka. It is worn with 18 molas saree with three four rounds at the waist and a knot after crisscrossing over shoulders.
  • Gond – sari styles found in many parts of Central India. The cloth is first draped over the left shoulder, then arranged to cover the body.
  • Malayali style – the two-piece sari, or Mundum Neryathum, worn in Kerala. Usually made of unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or coloured stripes and/or borders. Also the Set-saree, a sort of mundum neryathum.
  • Tribal styles – often secured by tying them firmly across the chest, covering the breasts.
  • Kunbi style or denthli:Goan Gauda and Kunbis,and those of them who have migrated to other states use this way of draping Sari or Kappad,this form of draping is created by tying a knot in the fabric below the shoulder and a strip of cloth which crossed the left shoulder was fasten on the back.

Sari, is derived from the sanskrit word 'sati'. Sati means a strip of cloth. This sound first evolved into 'sadi' and then into 'sari'. There are some indications which suggest that the sari originated in the Indus valley civilization in 2800 to 1800 BC.

Sari is Indian traditional attire also popular in other South East Asian countries. In some states of southern India, the nine-yard long saree is worn. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat with a fitted upper garment commonly called a blouse (ravika in the south and choli elsewhere). In a sari the midriff is left bare. This is because according to Hindus, the navel is considered the source of life and creativity (maybe because through it the foetus is fed).

Red wedding saris are the traditional garment choice for brides in Indian culture. Sari fabric is also traditionally silk. Over time, colour options and fabric choices for Indian brides have expanded. Today fabrics like crepe, Georgette, charmeuse, and satin are used, and colors have been expanded to include gold, pink, orange, maroon, brown, and yellow as well. Indian brides in Western countries often wear the sari at the wedding ceremony and change into traditional Indian wear afterwards (lehnga, choli, etc.). There are more than 80 recorded ways to wear a sari. Fashion designer Shaina NC declared, “I can drape a sari in 54 different styles".

The French cultural anthropologist and sari researcher Chantal Boulanger categorised sari drapes in the following families.

  • Nivi – styles originally worn in Andhra Pradesh; besides the modern nivi, there is also the kaccha nivi, where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back. This allows free movement while covering the legs.
  • Bengali and Oriya style.[25]
  • Gujarati/Rajasthani/Pakistani – after tucking in the pleats similar to the nivi style, the loose end is taken from the back, draped across the right shoulder, and pulled across to be secured in the back
  • Maharashtrian/Konkani/Kashta; this drape is very similar to that of the male Maharashtrian dhoti. The center of the sari (held lengthwise) is placed at the center back, the ends are brought forward and tied securely, then the two ends are wrapped around the legs. When worn as a sari, an extra-long cloth of nine yards is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulders and the upper body. They are primarily worn by Brahmin women of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.
  • Madisar – this drape is typical of Iyengar/Iyer Brahmin ladies from Tamil Nadu. Traditional Madisar is worn using 9 yards saree.[26]
  • Kodagu style – this drape is confined to ladies hailing from the Kodagu district of Karnataka. In this style, the pleats are created in the rear, instead of the front. The loose end of the sari is draped back-to-front over the right shoulder, and is pinned to the rest of the sari.
  • Gobbe Seere – This style is worn by women in the Malnad or Sahyadri and central region of Karnataka. It is worn with 18 molas saree with three four rounds at the waist and a knot after crisscrossing over shoulders.
  • Gond – sari styles found in many parts of Central India. The cloth is first draped over the left shoulder, then arranged to cover the body.
  • Malayali style – the two-piece sari, or Mundum Neryathum, worn in Kerala. Usually made of unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or coloured stripes and/or borders. Also the Set-saree, a sort of mundum neryathum.
  • Tribal styles – often secured by tying them firmly across the chest, covering the breasts.
  • Kunbi style or denthli:Goan Gauda and Kunbis,and those of them who have migrated to other states use this way of draping Sari or Kappad,this form of draping is created by tying a knot in the fabric below the shoulder and a strip of cloth which crossed the left shoulder was fasten on the back.

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