Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dhoti kurta an ethnic Indian dress

Dhoti and kurta is most friendly traditional Indian dress of men. Unlike other clothing, it is an unstitched piece of cloth generally 5 yards long designed in such a way that it can tied around the waist and legs of men. The knot of Dhoti is tied at the waist. Dhoti is known by different names at different region in the country such as veshti in Tamil, panche in Kannada, mundu or veshti in Malayalam, dhotar in Marathi, Laacha in Punjabi, dhuti in Bangla, and pancha in Telugu etc. In Northern region of India, dhoti is worn along with Kurta and together the attire is known as "Dhoti Kurta".

In Southern part of India, men wear it with an "angavastram", which is also an unstitched piece of cloth that is draped over the shoulders. Several places, it is worn along with a shirt known as "chokka". In several areas of the country, men wear Lungi which is generally colourful, which is a similar piece of unstitched cloth, which is draped in the same manner as Dhoti.

Longi is mostly worn on the informal occasions  but the Dhoti is considered to be a famous formal ethnic dress in India. More often, men likes to wear dhoti on the traditional family occasions. Even in the posh colonies, a modern men wears their traditional dress dhoti. 

The cultural pillars of India such as the classical singers, dancers and poets can be quite often seen in dhoti kurta. They derive pride in exhibiting the rich culture of their country.

In Southern states of India, men dress up in dhoti on most of the cultural occasion. Infact, in the South Indian weddings, almost all the males wear their traditional pancha at the time of customary ceremonies. In a few parts of Southern India, it is expected that men must be wearing veshti and angavastram at the time of entering into the precincts of the temple for prayers. 

The strong believers and followers of the Hare Krishna movement have made dhoti their identical dress code. The practitioners wear saffron and white color clothing, draped in the traditional style of India. Mahatma Gandhi used to wear the ethnic dress pancha on the public functions. Even the Bengalis wear dhoti kurta on the festivity celebrations of Durga puja. Rajputs as in "Thakurs"  in India are quite particular about wearing dhoti. 

In the last thirty year, western dressing style has been gaining popularity in the country. Men now prefer wearing formals at work. Traditional dress is preferred only on the family functions. Young people consider dhoti kurta as an outdated unfashionable garment that is associated with a old look. Thus, its fashion has somewhat faded and now it is worn by men at home primarily because of its comfort. There can be several styles of wearing a dhoti; however, the common style that is adopted for tying dhoti by Indian men is as follows: 

How to Wear a Dhoti

Take a long piece of unstitched cloth and count as to how much cloth is required on either side of the body to cover it.

After having divided the Dhoti according to the measurements, tie a knot close to the navel.

Make a series of folds on the right side and tuck the folded part at the waist as well.

Similarly, make a series of folds on the left side as well to balance it.

Take the folded part of Dhoti from between your legs and then tuck it from behind and your dhoti has been draped.


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Angela J. said...

Dhoti and kurta is Indian traditional ethnic attire for men. Also nowadays kurta pajama is also popular among youth which is much similar to the shoti and kurta style attire.

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