For as long as I can remember, I have been told that certain rituals are ‘traditions’. When questioned why, it always relates back to ‘”oh because your great great great grandmother from xyz village did so”. This blog post is something which is close to my heart; where I plan to defeat and possibly even define what it means to be a young Indian creative women, attempting to accomplish dreams but being conclude in a small box.
I embrace my heritage and I love my roots. I have been brought up in a respectable manner, where we go to temple for celebrations and we encourage other faiths and traditions worldwide. My frustration comes from deep within, where a question keeps burning my mind, and that is “we do not do it because we’re Indian”. What does this even mean?!
Villagers from India come from a rich, powerful yet courageous history. We empower, encourage and endeavor our paths and are incredibly proud of it. But one thing which has made me question these traits is what we are empowering. Growing up, you’re told to aim to be the brightest in the class, to get the best grades and of course be some kind of a doctor. By all means, if this profession is what you are destined to do because YOU chose to do it, you have my vote! But empowering other minds is forbidden. For many families living in the UK, you may be the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd generation to adapt to the western world, but we are secluded on what the world is to live by. Our Indian heritage teaches us to do well, but only in the academic roots. Frustration lurks because I being the 1st generation in UK, much like the many Indians I know , know what they want to do in life, yet told to do academic subjects in order to get more money and have a higher brand for themselves. This just doesn’t make sense to me; surely you teach the generations to follow your passion because happiness is something which cannot be monetized, yet the Indian roots crave the titlement?
Is the media eye approaching the contrast in an educational way? I greatly believe that the Bollywood industry has been the main cause to both improve and poison the state of how lives for us western Indians are lived. For example, many of the actresses can be seen as being promiscuous, flattering and curvy, yet if you were to walk around the streets of London, let alone India, you would be cat called and even shone down upon from the generations above. So where does that leave us?
Does religion play a vast amount into the traditions of Indian culture, or is it just an old women’s tale? Raised in London, I have come to realise that a lot of traditions in my culture are black and white. You either do something, or you don’t; there’s no in between. For example, if attending to a beautiful gracious traditional wedding, you MUST wear a sari or you MUST wear the most amount of gold. Why? Where centuries ago, ladies traditionally wore saris over their heads, to cover them from males, yet nowadays women are tending to follow trends where attending traditional and even religious events means it’s a chance for them to wear saris in a ‘sexy’ way.
The point being, there has been a major shift in the fashion movement where brands are now seeing the versatility between the rich Indian trends and the contemporary western trends. Brands such as Vaai London have seen that it is all about empowering the wearer from within and styles are not forbidden to wear in a certain way. With the fashion industry moving at rapid speed, Vaai London understands women want to wear the same pieces but in more ways than one to offer that extra touch of personalisation and style. Creative Director Hetal at Vaai London, much like myself is wanting to break the taboo of all things being a straight line, hence the name of her recent collection Freedom . Hetal also believes being in 2018 you can be as creative as you wish, and you can rock any look to either a traditional wedding or a fancy dinner party the way you like to, without any judgment! Whilst mainstream teaches the youths of western Indians the rules of popularity, I stand with Vaai London with their modern movements.
To find out more about Vaai London visit www.vaailondon.com
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