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ODE TO SARI

MY SARI PARTY ... 

WITH KALYANI BHAT, A HALDI KUMKUM EVENT

      Apr 20th 2015

We love our saris. We have already established that in the "Ode to Sari".  However, we don't get enough opportunities to don this alluring 7-yard long Indian traditional garment.  Unlike our mothers who wore saris on a daily basis, we find the non-traditional attire more comfortable as we run around all day, or perhaps I should say drive around all day. Keeping in mind our lifestyle, whether in India or abroad, it is no surprise that we have steered clear of sari as a regular attire. Of course, those of us women who live outside of India have even lesser opportunity of wearing sari as the sari events are restricted to Indian festivals and other Indian traditional events. We often depend on parties where the host makes the call for all women to wear saris. Most ladies are happy to oblige as it gives them a chance to "air" their saris.


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When Kalyani Bhat of Texas, organised a Haldi- Kumkum party for the ladies in her Bunco group (ladies game night group) on March 24th 2015, she requested all her friends to come in red, yellow or orange colors, the colors of haldi (tumeric powder) and kumkum(red dye, vermillion, traditionally used by Hindus to put on the forehead). The event gave all her friends an opportunity to take out their old saris. Everyone had a story to tell about the sari they were wearing. The surprising fact that emerged was that most of those stunning saris were about 20 years old- now that is precisely why sari is ageless! 


It was a fun event as the ladies exchanged stories of the sari they were wearing. As each one came in, Kalyani applied tika on their forehead and gave them parsad (religious offering). The dinner was special as well. Of course, everyone wanted the recipes of the Maharashtrian delicacies that included Tomato Saar, Vatli Daal, and Shrikhand among other items. Plus, everyone got little goody bags containing traditional trinkets to take home!

(Photo credit: Kalyani Bhat, Haldi Kumkum event at her house on occasion of Gudhi Padva )

ABOUT HALDI KUMKUM ... 


Kalyani, who has taught religious classes in the local temple, explains that Haldi Kumkum or Haldi Kunku  (as called in Marathi) events are popular social events among the ladies of Maharashtra. It is traditionally celebrated among married women, where they exchange Haldi and Kumkum, which is a symbol of their married status. Keeping in mind the changing society, all women (single or divorced)  are now included in this social gathering.

Kalyani further elaborates that these are held on various occasions around the year such as-
  • Sankrant ( in January)
Sankrant Haldi Kunkus are done in the beginning of the year. Black is the most popular color for Sarees worn for this Haldi kunku. Til ( sesame) sweets, gul poli and halwa ( white sugared sweets) are distributed.
  • Chaitra Gauri (in March)
This occurs around the Marathi new year, Gudi Padva. Kairiche panha( raw mango drink) and vatli dal( Amba dal) are the two popular menu items for the Haldi Kunku along with sweet coconut karanjis.

  • Mangalagauri (in August)
  • Hartalika( in August/ September)
  • Navratri ( in September/ October)

Gifts are given including bangles, toe ring, bindis and small novelty items along with fruits, nuts and rice. Rice symbolizes auspiciousness, prosperity and fertility.

By Sonal Kulshrestha
(Sonal is a programmer by profession and a writer by passion. She lives in Texas, USA)

(Do you have sari party pictures to share? If so, share them with‪#‎MySariParty‬ or #OdeToSari and we'll publish them on desideewar.com)

ode to indian culture

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Ode To Sari-1 Ode To Sari-2   Ode To Sari-3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 
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