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Saris, Kurtis, and Dhaka topis

By Tuesday, April 02, 2013 , , ,

We all know what a Sari is, but what about the tunics with baggy trousers done in similarly styled cloth? Those are Kurtas, (short ones are sometimes called Kurtis) and I love how they capture what we traditionally think of as Nepalese and Indian clothes but are also more practical (could you imagine wearing one over leggings?). Men traditionally wear Kurtas as well, but thy're looser and not as colorful.

Most of these photos come from Mahashivratri at Pashupatinath Temple, the above photos are of people queuing for the temple.

I saw so many beautiful colors and patterns being worn, but for some reason had trouble finding clothes like these in the shops. Too often what looked like a Kurti in a lovely color would have a heavy, gaudy sequin-y collar. I was also really hoping to find some modern, western style clothes in traditional Nepalese prints, or vice versa - some kurtis in fun, modern patterns. But no luck!

Looking thought these photos, you'll notice more men than women wearing modern western clothing. But many of the older men still wear traditional clothes, particularly the Dhaka Topi, or this kind of hat:

If it looks familiar, it might be because Afghanistan President Hamid Kurzai wears a very similar kid of hat, called a Karakul .

I'd read before coming here that you could buy cloth and have it custom made for just a few euros - but we found the prices closer to 25 for a pre-made shirt to be taken in slightly (that's the price of the shirt and the alteration).  Not a lot compared to what you'd probably pay in Europe or North America, but not "just a few euros" either.

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