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The Saree: Eternal Elegance

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Photo by wieland7 on Flickr

Ethereal, intriguing and incredibly beautiful is what the Sari essentially is. The word “saree” is derived from the Sanskrit  word “sati” which means “strip of cloth.” With the amazing attribute of accentuating a woman’s body beautifully, it is an absolute must-have in every Indian woman’s wardrobe. While this six-yard piece of elegance has a history dating back to the Indus Valley civilization and we are talking 1800 BC here, it still retains its position of being India’s most popular traditional garment!

The saree has always been an all-time fashionista favourite and has been reinvented by leading designers across the world. However, traditionally it is a long rectangular-shaped drape of cloth that ranges from 6 to 9 yards and comes in a variety of textures and styles. Woven in rich silks, flowing chiffons, crisp cottons and synthetics, it is truly versatile on all counts.

Given the diversity that India is proud of, the traditional saree is worn in a plethora of different styles in various regions across the country. Every region has a very distinct style that is trademark to its culture and social fabric.

In the eastern part of India the sari is worn without the pleats and the pallu, which is the flowing part of the drape, and is left loose over the shoulder. Traditional women from the eastern state of Bengal tie a bunch of keys around the other end of the pallu as they go about their household chores. In the state of Gujarat in western India, the sari is worn with a neatly pleated pallu that falls right in front, with the other end tucked around the waist. They love giving the pallu predominance when they wear their sarees. In the other western state of Maharashtra, the saree is a full 9 yards with the pleats placed between the legs and neatly tucked at the centre of the back. In South India, the saree is wrapped in layers around the body and the pallu falls in a neat vertical pleat.

Irrespective of however it is worn, the saree exudes distinct elegance and charm complimenting every woman that adorns it.


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