30 November 2012

Other than the Saree

The national costume is one of the things that will show the rest of the world how beautiful, colorful and vibrant the culture of a certain country is. And in this place where I am currently located, they certainly have one of the most colorful and most lively national costumes in the entire planet and even up to now, men and women still wear those costumes not only during special events but even in their daily lives.

However, in this post, I will not be tackling about the most famous national costume for women in this country, the saree, and instead, I will be showing you some of the many other traditional attires that the female population in this part of the world still enjoys wearing up to this date.
My other than saree traditional suits.

The moment I set foot in this country, one of the things that I am looking forward to experiencing is wearing the traditional clothes of the locals and I am happy to tell you that I was able to!

First up on the list is the lovely Anarkali suit. The origin of this traditional costume is from a famous historical story long time ago where a dancer named Anarkali in Lahore long time ago allegedly had an illicit affair with the prince in their kingdom and that she was put to trial for having such illegal affair with a royalty but in the end, since there was not enough evidence to prove that she's done something wrong, she was freed by the king. Anarkali wears a dress called mujara whenever she performs and once her story started spreading all over the place, people started calling the mujara dress as Anarkali in honor of the dancer who fell in love with the prince.
Yours truly in an Anarkali suit during a friend's wedding ceremony.

A typical anarkali suit has embellishments both on the top and bottom parts of the dress. It also comes with a dupatta (scarf) and an inner pants called churidar. When you buy an anarkali suit, it usually comes with a pair of long sleeves that is not yet sewn on the dress which means that it is actually optional. As you can see below, I had mine sewn just to really be on the traditional side but modern women these days prefer a sleeveless anarkali.

An up close shot of the Anarkali's bottom embellishment.

The second traditional costume is called a kurta (long and loose top) and churidar (pyjama). Usually, women wear a salwar, another type of pyjama that is tight at the bottom and loose in the middle. Kind of like Princess Jasmine's pyjama in the Disney cartoon Aladdin. However, I prefer a pair of churidar, think leggings, because I think it looks better that way. A kurta can have a full blown pair of sleeves or 3/4 sleeves or without sleeves at all. I both have the sleeveless and the 3/4sleeves kurta only the latter looks almost like a full blown one because I am on the smaller side if you know what I mean. Hahaha! Anyway, when wearing a kurta and churidar, a dupatta or a multi-purpose scarf usually comes with it. And that the dupatta is of the same color of the suit. 

Yours truly in what is supposed to be a 3/4 kurta, churidar and dupatta ensemble.
Yours truly wearing a sleeveless kurta.

The last type of traditional costume that I will show you is called a Lehenga. A lehenga aka ghagra is a long skirt that is pleated and has embellishments on the bottom part. It is usually worn with a choli, a tight top that bares the wearer's navel. Think of the top that women wear inside their saree, that's a choli. Anyway, the kind of lehenga that I bought is not really intended for special occassions such as weddings hence it is not as dramatic as the ones that you can google up. Aside from that, I opted to wear a usual blouse with just the right amount of tradition in it and that's about it. If given the chance, someday, I also want to wear the full lehenga choli suit. 

I'm in love with my hand painted Lehenga!

Now, as for the saree, the most well known traditional costume in this place, I will make an entire post just for it in the near future so don't worry about it!

Hope you enjoyed this post!


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