Monday, 7 September 2015

Dressing up - Gurung style

People belonging to the Gurung ethnic group are very prevalent in Lamjung and there are many Gurung villages and people that I have visited or worked in. 

The lead female teacher from one of our schools, Khambi, invited the two biddeshis (foreigners) to breakfast at her house in Besisahar one Saturday recently.  After eating we talked about the typical Gurung style of dress used for festivals, weddings and special parades.  The festival of Lossar is a particularly important time for these clothes, as it is the Gurung New Year celebration. 

Khambi and her daughter, Susmita, then fetched sets of clothes for us to try on. 
We needed help in putting the clothes on correctly, but were rather pleased with the overall effect, although we don’t have the beautiful long black hair that the Gurung ladies have, that sets the clothes off so well.

This is how we were dressed;
Firstly a jacket, a cholo, close fitting and tied at the front. Mine was in red velvet. Over the jacket a cape-like embroidered red velvet material, the ghalek, is tied diagonally across the body from one shoulder.  Over the other shoulder is hung a colourful folded scarf called a parchora.
The skirt, the gunio, a long loop of almost checked cotton material in blue/grey is pleated at the front to fit.  Then a bright blue strip if material, the patukha, is wound cummerbund-style around the waist, to secure the skirt.

We were even given traditional beads to wear – phote, strings of small bright green beads, and muga malla made of much larger orange or amber coloured beads.  The final touch was the bracelets, chura, although as biddeshis  our hands are too wide to force most of these on. 

Thank you Khambi and Susmita for a lovely morning.

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