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The Saree Man of India: Himanshu Verma breaks all Stereotypes to show Gender Fluidity of Saree

The Delhi-based Himanshu has a curious love for Saree since he did his curatory on the subject

  • Saree-Man of India,Himanshu Verma is wearing sarees for last 12 years
  • He defines saree as a “megalomaniacal gesture” at his part
  • He celebrates “Saree festival” every year to show saree is Gender-fluid

India is one of those countries that has defined masculine and feminine roles. When it comes to the attires the men and women must wear, it is not only a matter of having a piece of cloth. The particular clothing is seen as a marker of culture and tradition of the place.

When it comes to Saree, one of the Hindi words that have never found a translation in any other language, a similar kind of definition is associated.

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Saree is a female garment about five to nine yards long which not only depicts the culture but is a symbol of feminine peculiarities. From the house-maker women to the celebrities in the glamour world, wearing it marks poise and elegance. However, a very strange yet fascinating man discards all the notions of femininity associated to the wearing of saree. He is known well as the “Saree-Man” of India.

See the video of Himanshu, the Saree-Man

According to Vagabomb.com report, Himanshu, the Saree-man, describes the practice “as a gesture of re-appropriating the saree as a male garment and highlighting the historical tradition where it was all about the fluidity of the drape and not about the structure that was gender specific.” He also describes it as a “megalomaniacal gesture” at his part on being asked about the title people associate with him.

Himanshu Verma. Image source:Vagabomb
Himanshu Verma. Image source:Vagabomb

He began to undergo this practice while he was working on the subject some years ago and defines the garment very specifically as: “The saree as we know today is actually just 150 years old, and it is what is called the Thakurbari drape or the drape pioneered by the Tagore ladies. It is also associated with the Parsi Bombay ladies. Before that, the saree was worn in so many ways and the men would also wear dhotis and sarees, and in many parts of India the two terms are interchangeable. So I think saree is a generic term and it is not a garment for women specifically.”

His own taste in Saree is interesting to note as he asserts: “When I started wearing sarees I used to wear what I call the chamiya sarees… the blingy ones, the slinky ones… but as I am growing older with more grey hair, I am wearing the softer ones, handloom ones,” said the Vagabomb.com report.

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In addition to this love for saree he has, that he wears Saree on a regular basis for last 12 years, he is the one who celebrates it with recognizing it in the annual Saree Festival with all its types from the traditional to the contemporary.

-prepared by Megha, a freelance contributor at NewsGram. Twitter: @meghash06510344

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