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Transcript of NEPAL
Traditional Men's Attire
The traditional clothing of men is highly symbolic. Not only is it considered a national figure, but each piece of the garment is symbolic of Nepali religious beliefs. Known as Dura-Suruwal, or Labeda-Suruwal, men's dress consists of a long tunic, pants, and a cap, known as a Topi. The wearing of a jacket over the Dura/Labeda-Suruwal was popularized by Prime Minister Janga Bahadur Rana in the first half of the 19th century.
Traditional Women's Attire
There are multiple styles traditionally worn by women, most commonly:
Suruwal Kurti (with a long scarf)
Clothing styles vary across the multiple geographic regions in Nepal.
Understandably, clothing in the mountainous region (in the Himalayan Mountains) varies from that of lower elevations. In the mountain communities, clothing for men and women traditionally consisted of wool in order to stay warm, rather than the cotton common to many other warmer, lower-elevation regions.
It All Depends on Who You Are
As mentioned earlier, the attire of married women differs from that of unmarried women, as does that of widows. They continue to wear the Gunyo Cholo, but instead of wearing the bright colors usually worn by married and unmarried women, widows are only allowed, socially, to wear solid white for one year after their husbands' deaths, followed by a bland wardrobe (whites, grays, neutrals) for the rest of their lives.
Although traditional Nepali clothing is seen as a symbol of nationalism throughout the country, modern apparel favors western styles of dress; the type of clothes that we wear every day. Traditional dress is worn primarily for festivals and special occasions (especially weddings), and by politicians to represent the country. The Topi, however, is still commonly worn.
Nepal is a very traditional society, particularly in their styles of dress. Some conventional attire worn today has its roots in the Vedic Period, over three thousand years ago.
Every Dura/Labeda-Suruwal tunic is made in the same style, with features symbolic of the major religions of the area, Buddhism and Hinduism:
Closed neck signifies "the snake around Lord Shiva's neck" in religious mythology
Eight ties hold the tunic closed, eight being a lucky number in religious mythology
Five pleats, called Kallis, on the tunic represent either Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna, depending on the wearer's beliefs
Topi forms a peak that represents Mount Everest, A national symbol
There are two parts to the Gunyo Cholo style of dress; very simply, the gunyo, and the cholo.
essentially, a sari, which is
worn draped around the waist like a skirt or sarong. Married women wear the gunyo like a dress, drpaed over one shoulder.
jacket or blouse with ties on
a garment similar to a
Haku Patasi is simply a gunyo, only much more specific. The gunyo worn for this style of dress is always black with a red border, and even involves (many) very specific accessories.
Worn by unmarried women, the Suruwal Kurta is very similar to, in Western terms, a dress worn over pants. The scarf is generally worn draped across the front of the neck, hanging loose down the back.
As Can Be Expected, Lower Castes (Social Classes) Dress Differently Than Upper Castes
Clothing styles across Nepal are typically very bright and highly embellished, and are worn with large amounts of jewelry. Lower castes, however, have far less glamorous styles.
Trends are Forever Evolving...
This is the Suruwal Kurta
This is the gunyo of a married woman, over a blouse.
Typical mountain-region attire
One example of the neutral colors worn by widows.
Modern Nepali style
Typical Nepali Wedding Wear
A very rich culture is evident across Nepal, a culture in which clothing plays a huge roll.
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