Monday July 16, 2018

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

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the Delhiwaala Himanshu at a shoot Source: ibb.in
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  • 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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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Saree is no doubt one of the soberest form of culture on display. It unifies all Indian women and now as Himanshu says, it is gender-fluid!

  • devika todi

    gender fluidity at its best!

Next Story

Women Are Rarely “Put Front And Center” At The Heart Of Climate Action

Feminism doesn't mean excluding men

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Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017.
Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017. VOA

Women must be at the heart of climate action if the world is to limit the deadly impact of disasters such as floods, former Irish president and U.N. rights commissioner Mary Robinson said on Monday.

Robinson, also a former U.N. climate envoy, said women were most adversely affected by disasters and yet are rarely “put front and center” of efforts to protect the most vulnerable.

“Climate change is a man-made problem and must have a feminist solution,” she said at a meeting of climate experts at London’s Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship.

“Feminism doesn’t mean excluding men, it’s about being more inclusive of women and – in this case – acknowledging the role they can play in tackling climate change.”

Research has shown that women’s vulnerabilities are exposed during the chaos of cyclones, earthquakes and floods, according to the British think-tank Overseas Development Institute.

In many developing countries, for example, women are involved in food production, but are not allowed to manage the cash earned by selling their crops, said Robinson.

Earth depletion
Earth depletion, Pixabay

The lack of access to financial resources can hamper their ability to cope with extreme weather, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the event.

“Women all over the world are … on the front lines of the fall-out from climate change and therefore on the forefront of climate action,” said Natalie Samarasinghe, executive director of Britain’s United Nations Association.

“What we — the international community — need to do is talk to them, learn from them and support them in scaling up what they know works best in their communities,” she said at the meeting.

Also read: Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wines

Robinson served as Irish president from 1990-1997 before taking over as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and now leads a foundation devoted to climate justice. (VOA)