The enigmatic sari:

Unattached from religion

Tuesday 21st November 2017 10:33 EST

Sari is one of the most beautiful, elegant and graceful attires that a woman can wear. It is considered as a traditional garment worn in the South Asian diaspora, as well by those who are of South Asian descents; i.e. many women from Mauritius or the West Indies. In a country like India, where there is an amalgamation of religions, cultures and rituals, is it fair to associate this ethnic wear to Hindu nationalism? An article in The New York Times has linked the sari to Hindu nationalism which has enraged and bemused many.

Walking on the streets of London, be it Green Street, Upton Park in East London, or in Wembley, you will see several women draped in this elegant attire. Seeing a woman dressed in a sari is no alien sight in the UK, especially in the multi-cultural city of London, as well as Leicester and Birmingham. To say that this attire is strictly associated to one religion is futile. The sari is as popular in Bangladesh as it is in India. You will get to see many Bangladeshi Muslim women choosing a sari as their daily wear in the UK.

A British Bangladeshi woman, Sameera Begum shared her views. She said, “I was born and raised in the UK. I have always seen my mum in a sari and can't imagine her in anything else. I myself wear a sari on several special occasions, including Eid. We are Muslim women who wear saris, and there are plenty like us in the world.”

India is multi-faceted and full of diverse people and ethnicity. The report in The New York Times shows ignorance towards the sari, Indian people, Indian culture, and India as a whole. India, similar to the UK, is a nation where people of all creed and background come together to celebrate each other's festivals and live in unity. In the UK, women, and men alike, dress in what is considered as “western attire” regardless of their colour or religion and are not questioned. Then how is it fair to even consider an “INDIAN” national wear to be segregated and associated to one particular religion? With all its achievements and attributes, probably India and South Asia is still an enigma to that side of the western world. 

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