This post is going to be a little personal (which one hasn’t been so?) and quite short (now that‘s a surprise!) and a little giggly to me (girly Priya? Weird!).
I’m going to talk about young people in current times and how we interpret the age-old traditions from South India. More specifically, I’m going to talk about how we signify those practices with the matter of clothes.
Let me get straight to the point. Festivals, puja’s, and traditional celebrations including weddings and engagements are the events I’m talking about. Unlike the era of the 2000’s, young people now define these moments equivalent to getting out their silks and jewellery.
I remember when I was between the ages of ten and fifteen, I was in school, and my school discouraged leaves of absence. So, I participated only in those family events which occurred on school holidays. And my Daddy strongly encouraged me to wear comfortable clothes, “Just put on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt!”, he would say. Those were hardly traditional. In fact, they are Western wear adapted into the Indian everyday clothing. And I could see all the Akka’s and Anna’s in the same kind of clothes : comfortable and a little newer than the rest of their wardrobe. But, what happened over the years?
One exemplary reason for the aforesaid change is the impact of social media. Another would be a comeback to antiquity in the fashion era. Still another would be an innate desire to bond with the roots that has arisen in the recent years. Maybe this shift is because youngsters in the previous decade had been exposed to ample traditions, in the form of their elders sticking to their old ways. But nowadays the people we call elders are themselves a little removed from the old ways, and we hardly get an example of the same, so we are trying to keep them alive in ourselves. Whatever be the root cause, the fashion industry has been bringing back silks depicting those silks which my Gammy wore when she was young. We also see a mad craze over antique jewellery. And an altogether different whim in ourselves to shop for sherwanis and anarkalis from the Mughal era.
I’d been struck with the same whim during the last two weeks. There was a beautiful Kerala festival of Onam, which was enthusiastically celebrated at my office with traditional wear, and a few days later my friend got married in a Tamil wedding ceremony, both of which gave me the silk-craze. That beautiful saree was what I’d worn to the wedding. And those two days got me thinking and here I am!
Share with me how you celebrate weddings and home festivals. Do you see the shift I described?
PS : What do you want me to write about next?
PPS : I know it’s a lame move, but my imagination has become single-streamed since I started perfecting the first draft of my novel.