Indian woman is universally acclaimed for her beauty and when she slips into the six yard with a bright red bindi, she causes a situation close to chaos. Heads turn back to drool, poets suddenly get inspired, other women turn green with envy, and even the most unromantic starts thinking about her. All it takes is six yards of unstitched cloth. That is the power of Sari.
For Indians, Sari is not only a garment but a tradition that has survived through centuries. Interestingly, in a place like India where every state has its own uniqueness and personality, making it so different from each other, in such a scenario Sari seems to bind us all together because women from almost all the 28 states wear the flowing garment! Sari is like the national flag: symbol of India, pride of India. Nevertheless, the garment has gone through a lot of amendments, from a daily wear it has become festival/party wear, from nine yards it has become six yards, ancient material like cotton is replaced by chiffon, and of course, there has been inventions of new ways of draping a Sari.
The word Sari is derived from Sanskrit ‘sati’ meaning ‘strip of cloth’ and its origin goes back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Sari is nothing but an unstitched piece but the amount of variation and creativity one can do with it is just remarkable. Over the years, many fabrics and motiffs have been created however there are some which are not only very much in demand but also represent the region where they are made. They are basically, Kanjivaram of Tamil Nadu, Bandhini style of Rajasthan and Gujarat, Kantha embroidery and Tant cotton of Bengal, Sambhalpuri print of Orrisa, Munga silk of Assam, Paithani of Maharashtra and Banarasi of Uttar Pradesh. These are not just Saris but represent work of fine craftsmanship, continuation of a long-standing tradition and months of hard labor.
Sari is a sensuous yet elegant garment that beautifully embraces a woman’s curves. In the bygone days, this free-flowing garment was meant for comfort hence worn every day. It was a conservative era but Sari only partially covered the midriff area. According to Hindu tradition, stomach and navel are the most sacred parts of our body and the source of life and creativity hence it should be left uncovered. Moreover, Hindus considered wearing stitched clothes impure. That’s why we had Saris and a typical way of draping it. Alas today, with new methods of draping and blouse patterns, and with us forgetting the actual philosophy behind a Sari, there is a lot that’s revealed and very little left for imagination! Moreover, no one wants to wear a Sari every day, primarily because of the complex method of wearing one, so it has become a garment reserved for temple visits, weddings and festivals. Nevertheless, there is still a huge demand for this graceful attire especially with the burgeoning rise of new trends promoted by Bollywood actresses and a growing interest of international celebrities. Sari has indeed found a place even in this age of jeans and sleeveless tops, and looks like it is going to stay in vogue for a very long time. Sari has survived, isn’t it? This is the wonder of The Great Six Yard!
I had stopped wearing Sari…this article wanted me to wear one. Thank you for making us realize what we had forgotten.
Beautiful article….Unique topic and the title is really attractive.
Thanks for the information.