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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

FestiFULL of LIGHTS: Deepavali! (Guest Post by Tabitha)

Deepavali (Diwali), also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most widely celebrated Indian festivals of the year. Deepavali is a 5 day celebration made up of rituals, fireworks, gift-exchanges, and feasts. It is a time to appreciate your family and to reaffirm in hope. It is a Hindu festival, but it is celebrated all around the world by various religious groups and ethnicities. There are many explanations to the origin of this wonderful festival, but they all share a universal moral lesson: the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. No matter what time of year, we can all celebrate the "simple joys of life." The message of Deepavali surely resonates in all of us.

Today's post is extra festive because my dear friend Tabitha Busi is our guest blogger and model for the day! Read below and learn about her unique cultural insight on Indian cultural clothing. This shoot was especially challenging because we were in the dark, but Diana pulled through as always! Thank you for the stunning pictures. Take it away Tabitha!

आनंद लें (enjoy)!

In India, there are several types of gatherings, festivals, and celebrations held for various cultural reasons. These celebrations are nothing like I have seen or been a part of here in America. One of these celebrations, Deepavali, is filled to the brim with joy, festivities, dancing, fireworks, lights, bright colors, and lots of fun. Deepavali is a bright and colorful time, in which colors are seen through multiple things such as lights, candles, and my favorite...clothing!
Here, I am wearing a delicate light pink chiffon saree with intricate details and designs woven onto the fabric. What makes the saree quite beautiful is the unique and intricate embroidery work. Woven into the chiffon are tiny silver sequins, gold details, and blue and hot pink feathery details. All of the outfits that I am wearing are originally from India, and it is actually about 10 years old. You probably couldn’t tell, but putting on a saree is not as easy as you might think. The saree essentially consists of three main parts which is the underskirt, the short blouse, and the chiffon draping.
Putting on a saree involves lots of pins, tucking in, folding, and wrapping around. If it isn't done correctly, one could run the risk of looking like a messy pile of chiffon. But thanks to my mom, I think I was able to pull it off!
First off, let's begin with the tree. This tree that I am entangled in is called a moringa tree, and it is in my very own backyard. A more common name for the tree is drumstick tree. My family and I actually call it a “molecada” tree because in the language that my parents speak, Telegu, moringa translates to molecada (I actually didn’t even know that it’s real name is the moringa tree!).

It might be hard to notice, but hanging from the molecada tree are several long, skinny, green, vegetables which we call molecadas. When they are ready to be picked, my parents pick the molecadas and cook them to add to a healthy and delicious Indian meal. It is actually quite rare to find such a large and prosperous molecada tree in America. They are plentiful in India, but it is difficult to successfully grow them here.

Under the molecada tree, I am dressed in something a little different than a saree. It is a deep purple and green Punjabi outfit with very intricate detailing particularly along the neckline. The embroidery includes, beading, sequins, several hints of color, and various gold patterns. Unlike a saree, a Punjabi outfit is ten times easier to put on. This is because a Punjabi outfit is not quite a dress. Rather, it is a long top with pants that go underneath. The drape over on top is a “dupatta,” a scarf-like accessory that complements/completes the outfit. The dupatta can be worn in many different ways. I chose to wear it traditionally, across my chest.

 To complete the outfit entirely, I am wearing dark green glass bangles with gold detailing on them. It is almost a necessity to complete an indian outfit (saree or Punjabi outfit) with stacks of bangles on the wrists. Here, i decided to go with dark green bangles to match the outfit.

Gold accents are also very common in Indian clothing and accessories. You can see that the necklace that I am wearing, also from India, is gold with diamonds detailed within it.
Here I am wearing another Punjabi outfit. This time, it is golden yellow and orange. The collar is my favorite part about this Punjabi dress. I own many Indian outfits, but none like this one, with such a beautiful and detailed, stand-out collar.
Of course, I accessorized with bangles. Red, gold, and orange to match the outfit. Like I said earlier, an Indian outfit is never complete without the bangles!
Deepavali is a time for celebration, appreciation, and happiness, not only for India but for everybody. It signifies the victory of good over evil. Try to remember the good things in your life at least for these couple days of Deepavali. Celebrate, love, and appreciate.

Thank you for reading! ~Tabitha

1 comment:

  1. Nice job girls!

    I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

    - Albert Einstein