Saturday, October 6, 2007

Costumes of Punjab

The rich agricultural state of Punjab is famous for the `phulkari` (flower-work) shawls that are worn with a tight-fitting choli and gaghra. Phulkari forms the traditional costume of rural women of this region. In earlier days, Phulkaris were made for everyday wear. Usually the border and field of the shawl were not so densely embroidered, with much of the ground cloth exposed.

ShararaFor ceremonial occasions, however, a special kind of phulkari known as a `bagh` (garden) was made, in which the whole of the ground was covered with embroidery, so that the base cloth was not visible at all. Jeans, Jackets, Trousers, Skirts and other form of western outfits are worn among women Punjabi`s in India. But still the popular oruniversal form of dress material stands out to be still what Punjabi culture is know for Salwar Kameez, Sari, Sharara.

A popular, comfortable and convenient dress is the churidar kurta. This was traditionally the dress worn in Punjab, but is now worn almost everywhere, particularly among the younger generations. After adolescence, and almost certainly after marriage, women are expected to wear traditional Indian clothing. This trend is changing with more women entering the urban work force, but this is confined to sections of society that are highly exposed to international lifestyles. Men are considerably less traditional when it comes to dressing.

Women`s ClothingWomen`s Clothing
Punjabi girls and women wear salwar kameez`s with bright colored duppattas. A salwar kameez has two pieces of clothes: the kameez, or shirt or top piece; and the salwar, (pants) or bottom piece. A duppatta is a piece of colorful cloth that women wear around their necks. Salwar kameez`s and duppattas come in a variety of colors and designs. Punjabi girls and women wear salwar kameez`s with bright colored duppattas.

Costumes of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is colorful because of what its people wear. The dull-colored monotone of the sands and hills look cheery with the vibrant spirits of the people who wear bright colors to make up for the absence of blossoming flowers. Interesting costumes and jewellery of these desert people are not mere ornaments for them. Everything from head-to-toe including the turbans, clothes, jewellery and even the footwear establishes the identity, religion, the economic and social status of the population of Rajasthan.

The dresses of the males and the females are well defined and are made to go with the climate and conditions in which they live. While pagari (turban), angarakha, dhotis or pyjamas, kamarband or patka (waistband) form integral part of a male`s attire, the female`s attire includes Ghaghara (long skirt), kurti or choli (tops and blouses respectively) and odhani.

Rajasthan - Women`s ClothingWomen`s Clothing
Rajasthani women wear ankle-length long skirts, known as the Ghagara, with narrow waist that increase width like an umbrella at the base. The width and the number of pleats in the `Ghaghara` symbolize ones wealth. It comes in many colors and styles. The skirt is not folded at the lower end like normal skirts but a broad colored fabric known as sinjaf is sewn below to make it stronger. Ghagaras come in many styles but the most popular ones are colored or printed cotton Ghagharas with laharia, mothra and chunari prints just like the turbans of the males.

Odhni is 10 feet long and 5 feet wide; one corner is tucked in the skirt while the other end is taken over the head and right shoulder. Colours and motifs are particular to caste, type of costume and occasion. Both Hindu and Muslims women wear `odhnis`. An `odhni` with a yellow background and a central lotus motif in red called a `pila` is a traditional gift of parent to their daughter on the birth of a son.

Salwar Kameez

Salwar kameez is a two piece traditional garment of many south-east Asian countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Salwar are loose or body hugging trousers which are tied at the waist with a string and kameez is a long shirt exceeding the ankle or shorter not exceeding the ankle length. The kameez is worn on the top of salwar. There are many patterns, cuts, designs and styles are available in salwar-kameez and it varies according to different geographical locations and climate. For example- in north part of India i.e. Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh the kameez is generally three-quarter or full sleeves with the dupatta worn on head as a scarf. The salwar is sewn in many patterns like Punjabi salwar, patiala, churidar, etc. This dress is usually accompanied by dupatta. Also it is found either in the form of ready to stitch dress materials or ready-made i.e. already stitched and finished. It comes in a great variety of fabrics to choose from, right from expensive material to cheap daily wear fabrics.