Indian “saris” or “sarees” are the most prominent attire among women from India. A long piece of fabric is used to drape the body entirely. The fabric can be cotton , polyester, or silk depending on the occasion, the most extravag
ant saree will be embroidered and beaded with additional sequins and decorations. It can be draped in a variety of styles that are exclusive to a certain region of the country. The saree is worn above another piece of clothing known as the choli or blouse. The sari is typically worn by the older generation and is worn by the younger generations during festive times such as weddings and holidays. Due to immigration and westernization, the younger generations often prefer to wear the churidhar-kurta which is a long blouse worn with leggings, or the salwar- kameez, which is . A kurti is an embroidered top or tunic that can be worn with jeans or slacks for a modern look that attracts young female Indian youth for the comfort and for the contemporary look while still preserving the conservative elegance of Indian traditions.
Rashida M. is an Indian immigrant who has lived in the Milwaukee area for several years. Rashida came to the United States in 1976 to live with her new husband, who was a practicing pharmacist in the Chicago area. She wears clothing that identifies with the Indian culture. She prefers loose and modest shirts and dresses, along with her scarf. This is not only the clothing that she is comfortable in, but also the clothing she believe is religiously important. Rashida stresses that the choice to wear modest clothing and a scarf to cover her hair is not because of pressure from her husband or her family, but for Allah (God) . All four of her daughters have made the decision to wear the scarf with more modern clothing as well. The aspect of clothing that is important for Rashida isn’t the exact shirt or pants that are worn, but that her daughters have learned and exercised the principle of modesty in their faith. Rashida is an active and vocal member of her community.