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Traditional clothing

A saree or sari is a female garment in the Indian subcontinent.

A sari is a strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from four to nine meters in length, that is draped over the body in various styles. These include Sambalpuri Saree from East, Mysore silk and Ilkal of Karnataka and, Kanchipuram of Tamil Nadu from South, Paithani from West, and Banarasi from North among others. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with one end then draped over the shoulder baring the midriff The sari is usually worn over a petticoat. The blouse may be “backless” or of a halter neck style. 

These are usually more dressy with a lot of embellishments such as mirrors or embroidery and may be worn on special occasions. Women in the armed forces, when wearing a sari uniform, don a half-sleeve shirt tucked in at the waist. Teenage girls wear half-sarees, a three-piece set consisting of a lehenga, a choli, and a stole wrapped over it like a saree. Women usually wear full sarees. Indian wedding saris are typically red or pink, a tradition that goes back to India’s pre-modern history.

Saris are usually known with different names in different places. In Kerala, white saris with a golden border, are known as Cavani’s and are worn on special occasions. A simple white sari, worn as daily wear, is called a mundu. Saris are called pudavai in Tamil Nadu. In Karnataka, saris are called Seere. The traditional production of handloom sarees is important to economic development in rural communities.


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