Monday, January 31, 2011

Sari: Symbol of beauty and grace, a feature by a MassCoMedia student

Pratibha Agnihotri, Trainee Reporter, MassCoMedia

The word sari is derived from the Sanskrit word Sati. In the history of Indian clothing the sari is traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished during 2800-1800 BC around the western part of the Indian subcontinent. The earliest known depiction of the sari in the Indian subcontinent is the statue of an Indus Valley priest wearing a drape.
In ancient Tamil poems the sari is described as exquisite form of dressing for women. As the time change saree has taken many new forms and variety. It has been the symbol of our traditional form or cultural form of dressing which our ancestor use to give us. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with the loose end of the drape to be worn over the shoulder, baring the stomach.
The nivi style is today's most popular sari style. The nivi drape starts with one end of the sari tucked into the waistband of the petticoat, usually a plain skirt. The cloth is wrapped around the lower body once, then hand-gathered into even pleats just below the navel. The pleats are also tucked into the waistband of the petticoat. They create a graceful, decorative effect which poets have likened to the petals of a flower.

The Indian sari, believe it or not, is more than 5000 years old! It was first mentioned in Rig Veda, the oldest surviving literature of the world, written somewhere around 3000 BC. The Sari, originally intended both for men and women, is probably the longest incessantly worn dress in the history of mankind. In modern era sari is used as one of the prominent dressing which is stylish & seductive. This old dressing of India has witness many changes with all the trends including the seductive dressing. Other parts of India have their own specialties too, like the bandhani or bandheja saris of Rajasthan and Gujarat, gadhwal silks from Andhra Pradesh and paithanis of Maharashtra. Each sari is identified by the distinctive quality of the silk used and the patterns woven into the saris.

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