I love researching things. Often the information I discover blows my mind and when I get into that mindset, I can expound for hours every detail I find to my friends. I have to frequently pause and remind myself that maybe they’re not as fascinated with the subject as I am. Today is no different as I have found myself falling down the rabbit hole of information on…Saris (Sarees?).
Yep. These traditional pieces of clothing have fascinated me for years–YEARS, I tell you–but I’ve only just now taken a deep dive into the world of information on them. There’s so much information, I had to start a Note to keep it all straight!
Let me pause and say that I am still learning about them and if you see anything incorrect about my information, please tell me! Drop me a comment, or message, and educate me (nicely).
One thing that has confounded me for years (and I feel more than a little dumb in confessing this) is how the Sari is used as a skirt. Like, I knew it happened but I wasn’t sure how, especially with sheer Saris. Thanks to my research today, I found out that there is an actual skirt under the Sari. There are two different kinds: the Ghagra Choli and the Lehenga Choli. Technically Choli is the name of the midriff blouse but I believe they are traditionally named together. The Ghagra Choli is used for every day wear while the Lehenga Choli is used for special occasions and festivals (like weddings and Garba).
There are so many different ways to wear a Sari that I could not properly list and describe them all. I did learn that there are three different kinds:
~The Sari which is full length, covers the skirt underskirt completely, and is draped over the shoulder to create a pallu.
~The Half-Sari which tucks into the waist but doesn’t fully cover the skirt. It also drapes to create a pallu.
~The Dupatta, which sounds like a Half-Sari but is more like the pallu portion of the Sari. It looks like a shawl or scarf depending on how it’s used. I’m still trying to figure this one out in terms of technicality. The Dupatta is what you see when there’s just the fabric draped over an arm or across both shoulders and nowhere else.
One of the biggest things that fascinated me was the coming of age tradition in which girls receive their first Sari. This ceremony is called Ritu Kala Samskara or “Half-Sari Function”. During this ceremony, the girl spends the first portion dressed in a Langa Voni, a skirt and half-Sari draped over the choli. This half-sari is traditionally gifted by the girl’s maternal grandparents during her naming ceremony. During the Half-Sari Function, she is presented with her first Sari by her paternal grandparents, which she wears for the second portion of the ceremony. Why I’m so intrigued by this ceremony, I couldn’t tell you. I just am.
However they’re worn, Saris are so beautiful. I honestly hope that I one day have a legitimate reason to wear one (maybe if I’m ever able to fulfill my dream of attending a Holi festival). Until then I will continue researching, pinning pictures, and writing (hopefully correctly) about them.
For those of you who have experience wearing Saris, what are the pros and cons? Are they as comfortable as portrayed? I would absolutely love to know your opinion. Happy Living!