A New Movement with the Same Old Drape : Sari not Sorry


Indians abroad have to struggle hard to fit in to their culture. Very often, they are treated as second class citizens or outsiders unless we blend perfectly with their lifestyle and culture. As Sari can make you look typical Indian, many women give up their INDIAN attires trying to fit in to the western culture.

Many of the NRIs do not take time or effort to understand the Indian culture as they are too busy adjusting with the western lifestyle. Rawal has taken a step to change the mentality and to familiarise the western world with this beautiful Indian outfit.

The Message She Wishes To Convey

Sari not Sorry

Tanya Rawal is a professor who teaches Philosophy in California State University, Los Angeles. Tanya is researching on how brown people are termed terrorists and where such cliched thoughts originate.

The Steps She Took

Sari not Sorry

The academic wished to erase such cliched thoughts about immigrants. She started off in September by posting her images in Saris from her mother’s or relatives closets On Instagram.

Two months after that, she launched #sarinotsorry# hashtag on Tweeter which gained a lot of popularity. The campaign spread like wildfire just as she had expected. Many people revealed their views and showed that such bias needs to be erased from the minds of people.

Now, twice a week, Sari drapes sari while heading to the University. The students are now so accustomed to this unique traditional look of hers that they get upset when she is seen in a Western outfit.

The Sari Effect

Sari not sorry

Many sari wearers in the US hesitated wearing the sari because of the countless questions asked regarding the attire. There is another fact that when you drape a Sari and head out, you are the only one to do so in your locality. It also makes you feel awkward and prevents you from wearing it.

The social networks where women tweet their drape for the day make the women abroad feel they are not alone. They feel they have the company of similar women around US. This makes them drape this attire confidently.

Opinions of Different NRI Women

Sari Not Sorry

This is surely not the first time when an Indian woman attempts to break such cliches or misconceptions. Tanya Rawal hopes to change the perspective of her students by showing them it is the same woman who teaches them everyday in a different outfit. There have been others too who have tried to acquaint the US people with the Indian culture and attires.

Anita Mokashi, a business analyst, initiated a Bay Area Costume Marathon in May. The women draped Nauvari, nath, Gajra and running shoes and covered a 20km distance. The reaction of people were phenomenal even then as they and very vague ideas of Indian culture. Some even clicked selfies with participants.

#sareenotsorry @timesofindia @thetimesofindia

A post shared by Saree Not Sorry Project (@saree.not.sorry) on

Such actions do give results in the long run. It is when people take the initiative that others get to know of our culture and tradition.

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