I feel compelled to write this blog because of the appearance of an article in The India Abroad, December 4, 2015 issue. It was penned by Chaya Babu. The caption was, A Six Yard Political Discourse. A gender and race studies academic, Tanya Rawal has the Saree, Not Sorry Instagram account. Several photos of her wearing sari have populated the account. Chaya Babu’s interview with her made it appear as if a unique stand is taken by an Indian woman.
The interview was filled with platitudes and there was nothing unique about an Indian woman wearing a sari in the USA. Women had worn sari in this country for decades. Many of them are professionals and choose to wear sari to work. These women are comfortable in other clothes too. I choose to wear sari many times, even to work in the academia. But, I enjoy wearing it to church also, especially when I am a Lector and stand at the Lectern. I never thought of it as making a political statement. It was merely me being me. The congregation is used to seeing me with different apparel. But, on special feast days, I give first choice to sari. I feel that, by wearing sari, I was honoring the particular day. I honor the occasion by being me. I am the only one who wears a sari in that rural area. People respected me doing it because it is part of my identity. I come as myself when I wear a saree. But, there is no drama on these occsions.