SARIS AND TURBANS-CLOTHING IN INDIA
Wherever you live in the world, sooner or later you will spot somebody with a turban. Indian dress habits are eye-catching, colourful and fun.
The sari of course, is the most famous Indian dress-style. Saris have been around for at least 4000 years! The sari is a garment made of one piece of cloth, between 4 and 8 meters long. Often it is colourful and decorated with patterns. A sari can be as cheap as 1 Pound or as expensive as £500.
Draping a sari is a bit like tying a tie. Or learning to tie your shoe laces when you first go to school. It’s tricky, but easy once you learn it. There are many ways to drape a sari, but the most common way works like this:
Tuck one end of the sari into a waistband.
Wrap the cloth around the lower body once.
Gather the cloth in pleats and tuck them into the front of the waistband.
Drape the cloth around the waist again.
Drape the loose end over the shoulder (across the hip over the left shoulder, covering the torso diagonally).
Saris are still popular in India, but they are also worn in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Nowadays many girls feel that saris are old fashioned, and difficult to move around in. A new generation of Indian women is leaving the sari in the closet, only to be used for weddings and special occasions!
Instead, many girls and women opt for the the salwar. The salwar is a loose fitting long shirt worn over loose fitting trousers. The material is light cotton or silk.
Turbans are especially popular in North India. But head wraps are common in Middle Eastern countries and even North Africa. No wonder: the sun is just so hot! When temperatures go up to 110 Fahrenheit and above, people need some head protection. The women drape a veil, and the men wrap cloth around their heads!
A turban is made of one piece of cloth, which is 4 or 5 meters long. There are many styles of turban tying. They say that when you travel in North India, the style changes after every 15 miles! The turban speaks its own language. It tells people what district you are from, and what your job and rank and in society is.
When you see turbans in Britain, they are most often worn by Sikhs, from the Punjab State in North India.
A lungi is a very simple garment, made of a cloth of 46 by 80 inches (115cm to 200cm) in size. Lungis are worn in districts where the weather is simply too hot for trousers, such as South India, Bangladesh and even Somalia in Africa. The lungi is simply tied around the waist in a double knot, and is worn by both men and women.
The Dhoti is a bit like the Lungi, but more formal. A dhoti is made of unstitched white cloth around 7 yards(6.4 meters) in length. They are wrapped around the waist and shoulders or worn with a kurta (shirt). A dhoti is similar to a sarong.