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Saris Losing Popularity in Tamil Nadu


Chennai, January 1, 2003 (ANI): South India is the treasure trove of silk saris with gold embroidery -the six yards of fabric has been draped in the same style for centuries.
But more youngsters these days feel it's too cumbersome attire for daily wear. Chennai in Tamil Nadu is home to the famous Kanjeevaram Sarees.
These saris are essential to an Indian brides' trousseau. Here women wear it even when they do their grocery shopping. Saris are the preferred attire here and sari shopping is an important family outing. Colours combinations, the count of the silk threads, the pattern of the zuree borders, the authenticity of the goldthreads -- all have to be checked and re-checked. Younger girls have for centuries worn what is known as the half sari. In Tamil it is called pavadai thavani, a skirt and half a sari draped over that. It is very elegant and something that mothers and grandmothers wanted you to wear, especially at weddings.
But the thavani is no longer popular, not even the pattu pavadai or the silk long skirt. A sure indicator is that new malls coming up all across Tamil Nadu no longer display saris or thavanis on their mannequins. An entire generation of teenagers has taken to western and north Indian attire. In college campuses, jeans and salwar kameez can be seen everywhere. Saris have also had to share the limelight with pantsuits and salwar kameez's.
"I am a professional so I have to make sure that I am in a professional way, so I don't think that thavanis are more into a uniform kind of thing. I would have worn thavani but nowadays the trend has mostly changed into modern dresses like shirts, pants, jeans, that sort of thing," one woman said.
Day by day the sari is becoming a rare commodity. Saris are now being reserved for special occasions. Go to a wedding or a music concert, rarely will you see women wearing any other outfit. However, the pattu pavadai, half sari can't be seen here. That outfit is really gone. It is hot and humid all most all year around in Tamil Nadu. Wearing silk saris or long gowns is not really comfortable and even in tradition bound societies like in Tamil Nadu, women want comfort more than convention.
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I am the Editor News, at Asian News International (ANI), Indias leading Multimedia News Agency and the India Correspondent for Channel News Asia, a Singapore based broadcaster.
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