Sari

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant

This is the sari that my mother was given as a wedding gift by her mother-in-law. My mother recently found this garment in our basement as she was packing for a long-awaited trip back to Bangladesh. For women in Bangladesh, saris are the everyday wear, consisting of a length of cotton or silk elaborately draped around the body. A sari serves as a marker of class, with its finely worked and elaborately stitched clothwork. When my mother first came to America in 1989, she left most of her material belongings behind. But this sari was one thing she couldn’t forget as she started her new life abroad. Although this wasn’t her wedding sari, it held just as much value to her. My father’s mother gave every single one of her daughter-in-laws a similar sari to pass on to their own daughters or daughter-in-laws. In this way, my grandmother lives on through all generations of her lineage.  Although my mother now wears American clothing regularly, our culture isn’t forgotten. We bring out our saris for any special occasion—weddings, dinner parties, and holidays. We may live different lives than we would have if my mother remained in Bangladesh, but it’s during these festivities that we honor our cultural traditions, beginning with the most basic aspect—our clothing. 

Place(s): Bangladesh
Year: 1989

– Sanjeda Patwari

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant