Sari (also known as saree or shari) is a traditional dress from the Indian subcontinent, though many people consider that it is essentially an Indian dress. It is a beautiful piece of garment which wraps around your body and makes you look elegant and charming. Presently, there are many forms of saris available and worn across various parts of the world.
Sari may be a mainstream traditional dress, but it is not as simple as we might think it is. In fact, there are many things people are not aware of and I plan to tell 7 of them in this post. So, here are those facts about Sari which you should know:
- There Are About 100 Ways To Go About Draping
Yes, you read it right—there are over 100 ways you can wear a sari. Such a huge number of variations occurs due to differences in geography and cultures among and within countries. Take India as an example; there are many cultures within the country which have influenced the manner in which saris are worn.
So, whenever you wear a sari, always remember that there is no single way of going about it.
- Older Than You Expected
While it is quite understandable that Sari is old in time considering it called a traditional garment, but who could have imagined it to be centuries old. Many suggest that saris are as old as 5000 years old—which is ridiculously shocking!
Let me pique your interest in the history of sari by telling you this: the first documented statute wearing a sari dates as far as 100 BC. There are many statutes from the 2nd century which depict saris and that too in a range of styles.
- There were no petticoat and blouse once
If you did not know already, there was no concept of blouse and petticoats when it came to wearing a sari. In fact, women used to drape sari around themselves without them. It was only during the Colonial times that blouses and petticoats became popular.
In the Victorian era, exposing one’s chest was considered immoral, and this notion of what is and is not moral was imposed on colonies—India being one of them.
- Colors Have Meaning
The color of a sari was traditionally important back in the past and it still is though not with the same rigor.
For example, a white sari is worn by a Hindu widow and represents the state of mourning. Red is worn during marriages and is also associated with fertility. Yellow saris are worn for engaging in ascetic practices as well as during period following childbirth. Black sari is said to represent the state of sadness and you would notice that the color is not usually used in saris.
- It Wasn’t Always A Sari
The word ‘Sari’ is relatively new and was derived from a Prakrit word called ‘Sadi’ which, in itself, originated from a Sanskrit word called ‘Sati’. The word ‘Sati’ means a strip of cloth. Now there are many variants of Sari which may not necessarily come as a single piece of fabric, back in the past it was just a single piece of fabric.
- Watch Out For Motifs
The patterns used in Saris are traditionally important because each pattern represents something. In many saris, for example, you will find elephant motifs which are representative of water and royalty. On the other side, patterns including parrots represent passion. You will also find fish patterns on saris which represent resourcefulness and fertility.
It is to be noted that in these changing times the designs are changing as well. There has been an increase in the production of floral motifs on saris. There has been the inclusion of modern designs as well.
- Is It Difficult?
The general verdict is that saris are one of the easiest traditional outfits out there. When they say that you just need to drape it, they are saying right. However, it is be noted that there are many styles of saris and not every one of them is easy to pull off. Moreover, even if you do, you need to keep in mind that your blouse is not too tight or loose and petticoat does not stick out.
In case you are wearing sari for the first time, get help!
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