by admin on April 13, 2011

wedding saree

sister of the bride--samreen

we americans tend to think that everything these days is americanized.  after all, you can eat at mcdonalds all over the world!  and almost anywhere you travel, someone will speak english.  gap jeans are sold in france, and people from timbuktu can purchase dockers on-line.  however, despite this pressure for homogenization, cultures around the world are alive and well.

esme has been delighted to learn that just within her little fashion design class, there are students from all over the world.  students with their own languages, religions, and indigenous styles of dress.   let me introduce samreen.  this lovely young woman hails from pakistan.  her english is impeccable, and her clothing stylish.  she shared with the class the traditional saree that she recently wore to her sister’s wedding.  this was a silk georgette saree in a pale peach color.  it was embroidered with silvery thread and sequins.

the saree is essentially one piece of fabric that is wrapped in complicated ways passed on from mother to daughter.  samreen explained that, because she was not expert at wrapping and pleating, her mother had sewn in the pleats for her and created a waistband.  under the saree she wore a long half-slip in a darker color, as well as a decorated sleevless top that would show in the back.  esme has always wondered what a saree was like—what a lovely garment!  and samreen said it was very comfortable.

back home in pakistan, samreen would not wear the sari except on special occasions.  her daily wear would be a shalwar kamiz—a loose pair of pants topped with a long matching tunic.  esme imagined that she herself could slip right into such an outfit and be perfectly at home!

i’m sure you are wondering whether samreen’s sister had an arranged marriage—we westerners seem to be fascinated by this phenomenon! samreen described the marriage as both arranged and also one of love—the best of both worlds!  she added that the bride and groom are first cousins, this being perfectly acceptable in her culture.

in awe and fascination,



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