Indian women are beautiful.
They’re sassy and blunt, and they love to tell you what to do. I find myself giving in to whatever they suggest for me, whether it’s eating a 10th helping of chicken curry or wearing my hair up when I planned to wear it down.
They just say what they’re thinking all the time, which helps if you’re ever in need of an honest answer about your physical appearance.
Last night, for example, I was told I need to marry a man with a lot of money be cause I look expensive.
And since their questions are posed more as direct orders while smiling at you, it’s hard not to giggle and accept their instructions.
My mother, I think, must have some Indian in her bloodline.
The women are one of the most charming aspects of India, really. And it’s how I’ve become so close with many of our host mothers, or “amas.”
And just like my American ama, Indian amas love to dress up their daughters like little dolls.
Last night was one of those nights for my current Indian family.
Three of my Rotary teammates are lodging in the same host family’s house, so we spent the latter part of our evening playing dress up in front of the guest room mirrors.
In recent weeks, we’ve all become the beneficiaries of traditional Indian saris.
But without our Indian amas, there’s no way I’d know how to wrap all that material around my body.
The sari is made up of four parts: sari blouse, sari skirt, sari wrap and giant gold or silver jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets).
These elements are required to pull off this colorful, traditional Indian garb.
I’ve learned since being in India and asking questions about the wardrobe that the sari was traditionally worn to keep women modestly covered, hiding their figures from the luring eyes of men, while providing a comfortable outfit that would keep women cool in tropical climates.
In time, the dress has transformed and evolved in to a fashion statement, offering a range of quality materials – some fancier than others – for casual and elegant affairs.
Last night, our ama was showing us all her saris, categorized by casual wear and those reserved for special occasions.
We each tried on our sari blouses and skirts and lined up for our ama to wrap and drape the endless rows of material around our bodies.
There’s a special pleating they do with the material, and they fold and tuck it in to the skirt.
My ama was not impressed with the material of my first sari, so she went through her closet and found a gold and black elegant sari for me to try on.
She’s now having it pressed for me to wear it to the Rotary District Convention this week.
I must say, I wish Westerners wore saris more often. Not only do they hide the things on my body that I do not wish to be seen, but they make a woman feel feminine and fancy.
When I’m wearing a sari, I feel like a woman — a beautiful Indian woman.
And I’m not sorry about that.
Until tomorrow, Victoria.
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