How three friends transformed their passion for sarees into a movement that celebrates the traditional Indian garment
When three friends with more than one common denominator and a passion to do something different, interesting and worthy got together, the result was a sensational one. The date was 8 September, the venue Don Moore Community Centre and the objective, a celebration of the love for sarees. Like bright colours, spicy flavours and Bollywood, sarees are synonymous with the Indian traditions and customs. Sarees are very intrinsically woven into the fabric of the Indian way of life, every weave, every fabric has a tale to tell. And as we leave the shores of our homeland and nest in places abroad, we carry with us swatches of memories that we hold dear and that which keeps us connected to our roots. Sarees are a part of most Indian girl’s childhood, teenage and adult life. The times when you played house draped in your mum’s saree, that school function when you ‘dressed up’ in a saree, the first saree your mum gave you, the first saree you bought with your first earnings, your engagement saree, your wedding saree…. all those moments get woven into the fabric of the saree even without you realising it.
The Saree Lovers Meet was an attempt to rekindle those memories, to connect and build connections on a very ‘feminine’ level. The elation, the joy and the euphoria were evident on every visage, as ladies complimented each other, reached out and felt those textures creating a silent bond. To add a little ‘oomph’, the tables were named after different weaves and textures, creating different talking points. This was complemented by an informative slideshow, a beautiful poem composed and recited by Rekha Rajvanshi and a fun trivia that had every table pretty engrossed. And once the stage was thrown open for ladies to ‘show off’ their sarees and tell their ‘saree story’, the uncontainable excitement was well evident. Even sans linguistics, each saree spoke!!
The afternoon had everything requisite to make it an enjoyable afternoon—great ambience and a fun atmosphere with Tambola, stalls, tarot reading, raffle draw and an auction. To top it all was the lip smacking food laid out by Royal India Catering. Chef Jacob Chacko had every palate tingling with the flavours of a variety of Indian styled street food. The aroma and the taste had the ladies going back for more than one refill. DJ Dimple ensured the afternoon was well punctuated with meaningful music and later set the tempo for the ladies to hit the dance floor. These joyful moments were beautifully captured by iFocus fotography. The event was well supported by generous community members and businesses who sponsored and donated to encourage and recognise a great initiative. Shirley Jacob, Preeti Gupta and I would like to specially thank Sally D’Cruze, Joyti Tulli and Kalpita Pandit for their special contributions and support.
The event was a purposeful one with proceeds raised being donated to the Pink Sari Inc. Since its launch in September 2014, the Pink Sari Project has been working to increase the number of women from the Indian sub-continent in NSW being screened for breast cancer. Through community events and social media campaigns, the project is making a difference in the lives of women and families across NSW. There was a short informative session highlighting the importance of mammograms.
A strong foundation has been laid and this is just the beginning of a journey together. Everyone is eagerly looking forward to the next Saree Lovers Meet, when new connections will be made, the old ones strengthened with more stories to share !! And we are eagerly looking forward to putting it all together.