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Embracing Tradition

Diwali brings with it a mood of celebration, prosperity and festivity. It also presents a wonderful opportunity to embrace our tradition in small and beautiful ways.

While the festive norms for Diwali are known to almost everyone – young and old, often, families have a special family tradition that they observe as part of their Diwali celebrations.

Gifting clothes, sweets and crackers, donating to charity, hosting a Diwali event for family, visiting older relatives, buying a gold ornament, sending out gifts and greetings to friends and family, decorating the home with lights and rangoli, home-cooked ethnic sweets and savories, or a special family recipe for Diwali breakfast or lunch, getting generations together to watch fireworks display, street corner cracker competitions – these are just some of the ways in which different families mark their celebrations of this ever special festival.

Among all these many activities, one, which occupies a lot of time, energy and effort, is buying new clothes for all family members. Unlike olden days, when buying new clothes was relegated to festive occasions only, today we shop for clothes all the time. So what can make buying clothes for Diwali extra special?

What makes Diwali shopping special is that it is a great opportunity to embrace tradition and go back to classics that are timeless and ever symbolic of our glorious heritage. No surprise then, that many women opt for the Kanjivaram for their Diwali sari. The Queen of silks is after all, a brilliant way to drape yourself in luxurious silk and proclaim your love and respect for tradition.

In many families,  Diwali is usually the chosen occasion to buy the first sari for the youngest lady of the house – which is often a beautiful Kanjivaram in a youthfully cheerful colour and with a pretty motif. For the mistress or lady of the house, a grand Kanjivaram that spells grandeur and sophistication is an eloquent way to express thanks for her efforts through the year in binding the family together and creating a harmonious home. For the elderly ladies of the family, whose love and wisdom transcend two generations and more, simple, vintage Kanjivarams that are light to wear but classic in design, make perfect festive buys.

Children also get their prettiest ethnic outfits for Diwali. Silk kurtas for boys, “paavadai-chokka” or ‘lehenga-cholis’ or ethnic suits in rich fabrics for the girls.

And not to forget the menfolk – it is still common to see men – both young and old, embrace tradition by sporting the traditional dhoti or ‘veshti’ during Diwali. The cream and gold of their majestic silk dhotis are as integral to the traditional festive panorama of Diwali as the rich, deep jewel tones of the gorgeous Kanjivarams that the women rustle in.

Wearing tradition is of course the simplest way to cherish one’s roots and it helps set the perfect mood to ring in the Diwali festivities.

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