Happy Independence Day to all my Indian readers!
Since moving abroad for studies, I have increasingly begun to value my identity in ways that never occurred to me before. As a student and living in a diverse city such as London, I interact with people belonging to cultures from all over the world. It's fascinating to notice their perspectives, habits and learn about the traditions that exist in countries that I can only dream to visit. At the same time, as a proud Indian, I never tire of answering others' questions of what my country is like, where do I come from specifically and is it really like how it's shown in movies?
As much as I enjoy wearing those knee high boots, denim skirts, winter jackets and all other forms of western clothing, there is a solace that's found in donning a beautiful anarkali or saree in which you feel truly #desi. The femininity that exists in dressing up in traditional clothing, can't be achieved with wearing even the shortest of mini-skirts. Living in London, I miss out on tons of festivals and weddings where I would wear sarees with my mom, put on the heaviest of jewellery and proceed to dance away to all the Bollywood music. These elements when bound together, represent who I am and the rich roots that I belong to. The need to embrace these feelings despite not being in India was further inspired by one of my favourite influencer, @simisear movement called #decoloniseyourwardrobe. In a sentence, the movement encourages all brown girls to wear that dupatta on the streets of a western city, adorn those bindis and stack your arm with chudis of every colour of the rainbow.
I've tried it and I can proudly say that after a few stares and double takes thrown at me, I was so comfortable with my attire that it didn't bother me anymore that I was dressed 'differently'. The idea behind this editorial was not only to represent India while incorporating traditional items in a otherwise daily wardrobe, but it's also a way to be a part of the best of both worlds.
And with that, I wish you all again a happy Independence Day. Here's to always being proud of where we come from, and taking that in stride wherever we go x
Socks: Roommate's courtesy!
Head jewellery (maang tikka): Gifted