Something odd that has been brought to the surface recently is how things taken from Indian culture that once evoked responses of disgust are now “cool”. I read a post on the Facebook group #SubtleCurryTraits about how the stereotypical “white girl” who years earlier considered turmeric disgusting in “yellow rice”, now adds tumeric to their chai teas for the “health benefits”.
Well, the tide has turned. The teenage heart throb of my youth, Nick Jonas, chose to marry the stunning, Priyanka Chopra. But despite this change in heart by America as a nation, I’d argue that things really aren’t better. You must be thinking- isn’t this sudden love of all things Indian supposed to be great news? Indian culture may now be “in” but the truth is that I still know too many Indians who are ashamed of their culture, petrified of being labeled a FOB and are unable to erase the years of shame that we’ve associated with being Indian because of pop culture’s previous narrative. A message in which the worth or lack thereof, of an India in media was communicated by the void of people who looked like me on television shows, ads or magazines
and honestly, even within India’s own media that continues to refuse to include women of medium or darker shades on media platforms.
We still live in the same country in which I heard the white kid next door telling me that my people should get out of his white neighborhood. There are still people who are told that they smell like “curry”, presumably from people actually knowing what curry smells like. Or you still find the white guys on dating apps who only like Indian girls and treat an entire people group as a fetish. This leads to whole groups of desi people who refuse to engage in anything that associates them with their culture. Forbidden activities include but are not limited to: eating with their hands, being caught speaking their mother tongue or even spending a week in India.
The truth of the matter is that it’s not actually cool to be Indian. It’s only cool in the same way that people like dressing up on Halloween or decorating their Christian tree once a year, it’s exoticized. But even when this fad changes, I’ll still wearing my lengha blouses mixed and matched with American gowns. I’ll still try to rock my lengha skirt with a button down and my salwars pants with American tops. Because just as much as I identify as an American as my nationality, I am still and will always be Indian and that doesn’t need to be cool to you. It’s me.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve gotten a little lazy with posting my weekly outfits. However, I think it’s important to create spaces to share my culture- so these will still be happening! Some more exciting things are still to come. 🙂
Now back to this outfit! It’s maybe 8+ years old and still holding strong. My salwars have really taught me the vale of investing in quality clothing. I still find the contrast of black with the swirl of red, blue and silver so beautiful.
This Sunday I’m wearing a salwar that I got on sale in India a while back for just 800 rupees. Great deal right?
I had a moment today that sorta put things into perspective for me. I felt silly posting fashion pictures thinking of the grand scale of things.
My dad got into a biking accident and he’s okay but he so easily got hurt in one second more than he ever was in his entire life. I saw how fragile the man who raised me was and reminded me to never forget that every day is a gift. I could have not existed or my life could have been cut short at any time. But, I’m alive.
So in this picture I am very fragile as we are all very fragile. But I realize that because I believe in an eternity, being fragile isn’t so scary. I have no reason to be afraid. (Although I will be cautious!)
Today I decided to do something special with my hair after seeing a cute hairstyle on Pinterest. I tried to find the original post with no success. Essentially you put your hair into a high pony tail and spilt your hair into two, braiding the two pieces separately and finally wrapping each piece around your hair tie. I have a little bald spot that drives me crazy! It turns out this bald spot is just the area where I normally part my hair. If anyone knows how to hide this, please let me know.
The salwar I’m wearing in this post is actually silk material. I remember my mom saved this one for me to wear to a wedding and I was so upset because I couldn’t see the value in its silk material. I wanted the typical decked out cotton salwar in all of its “obvious” beauty. Despite the fact that I found the salwar I’m wearing above ugly, all of the older aunties would comment on the salwar’s simplicity and beauty. I really only saw this salwar as beautiful recently. It’s crazy to me how subjective beauty is- even beyond salwars, in life.
My favorite part of this salwar is the shawl. It feels heavy on my neck because of all the beading sewn on. I also love the delicate cut of this clothing that leaves me feeling so feminine but in a simple way. I love saris, but they can be such a hassle to wear…
I hope you all have an amazing Sunday! If you have any suggestions or requests for hairstyles or outfits- please let me know. 🙂