Nepal is a country with varied cultures and traditions. The art and fashion have a historical significance and bring immense value. The costumes and jewellery speak about the country’s unity and nationalism.
Traditional Attire of men
Daura Suruwal was originally the national dress of Nepal. Daura is the upper part of the dress and resembles a kurta. Suruwal is the lower part which is a trouser that fits tightly at the ankles. A coat or jacket was added to the dress by Jang Bahadur Rana, Prime Minister of Nepal, in the 19th century. The Queen of England had presented the coat to the Prime Minister after which he introduced it as part of the attire.
There are eight strings in the dress, the names being Biagini, Kumari, Barahi, Brahmayani, Indrayani, Maheshwari, Byasnabi, and Mahalaxmi. They are denoted as Astamatrika-Singini and has a religious significance.
Daura has a closed neck which is said to resemble the snake around the neck of Lord Shiva. The dress is mostly worn by the Brahmins of Nepal.
Dhaka Topi is the national headdress of Nepalese men. The name Dhaka is originated from the capital of Bangladesh since initially the raw materials for it were imported from Dhaka. It became popular during the rule of King Mahendra. Till today the International Nepali Dhoti and Topi day are celebrated in Nepal as a mark of respect to the country’s tradition and culture.
Dhoti is a common dress worn in many Asian countries including Nepal. In the humid parts of the country, Dhoti is preferred for comfort and ease. It is a long piece of cloth with a simple design. The cloth crisscrosses between the legs and is wrapped with a knot tied around the waist.
Lungi is similar to Dhoti but the ends of the garment are sewn together. It is also wrapped around the waist and knotted in the middle. Lungi resembles a long skirt. It is especially worn where the climate is hot and humid.
Tapalan is a two-piece dress. The upper part is a long shirt and the lower part is tight-fitting pants along with a waist-coat and topi (cap). Tapalan is exclusively worn during any festive occassions like weddings, religious ceremonies, and any special celebrations.
Traditional Attire of women
Gunyou Cholo has also been the national dress of Nepal along with Daura Suruwal. It is generally given to a 7 to 8-year-old at the commencement of womanhood. The upper part is a blouse or cholo and the lower part is a skirt. The women generally wear extensive jewellery with the dress.
Sari is the common outfit of India and Nepal. It is now the official wear for Nepalese women. The outfit consists of a tight fit blouse and a long cloth wrapped and pleated around the waist with draping across one of the shoulders. The women usually wear heavy jewellery and ornaments with the sari.
Kurta Suruwal is considered a modern dress of Nepalese women. The dress is prominent among many countries in Asia. The upper wear is a long blouse called kurta and the lower part resembling loose trousers. Nowadays the women prefer tight fit trousers.
Bhantanlan is a dress for young girls. It consists of an ankle-length tight-fitting dress with long sleeves. There are slits at the sides for a comfortable walk. The designs are vibrant and colourful and especially worn during festivals.
Nepalese women prefer wearing heavy ornamental jewellery along with their outfit.
The people of Nepal respect their culture and ensures unity through their ethnic costumes.