Haryana is one of the most economically developed regions in South Asia and one of the wealthiest states in India. But the people of Haryana are simple, humble and down to earth. Majority of Haryanvis are occupied in the agricultural sector and are vegetarians. They lead simple lives. The same could be said about their attires. Their clothing is practical and straightforward. Men wear dhoti kurtas and women wear kurta lehenga. Communities wear their attires in a different manner. While men are usually found wearing white, women of different castes were vivid, colourful attires.
Here are some of the traditional dress of Haryana, worn by both, men and women.
What Men Wear
The Haryanvi men wear ‘dhoti’ for trousers. Dhoti is a long piece of rectangular cloth, which is wrapped around the waist and legs and tucked in from the centre of the waistline. The loose ends are tucked in from the behind for a better fit. The men of Haryana wear white coloured dhoti and kurta as wearing white a s status symbol for them.
Different castes (Rajput, Brahman, Bania, Ahir and Jat) wear dhotis in a different manner.
Kurta or shirt
The men wear a kurta or a shirt over their torsos. The kurta or shirts are usually white in colour.
Pagris is a turban or a headgear for the men. It is a rolled piece of long cloth wrapped around the head. Although now fully stitched pagris are available which are required to be worn as simple as a hat.
However, in recent times, only the older men are found wearing pagris.
The traditional footwear of Haryana is jutti. Juttis are an Indian style footwear and are similar to mojaris. Juttis are closed shoes only till front half of the feet and thus are easy to wear. Juttis are made out of leather with various designs on them in North India. Even jutti made out of jute is famous.
Occasionally, men are found with a blanket draped over one of their shoulder, especially during the winters. The blankets are light weighted. Most common type of blanket is the dark coloured chequered blanket.
What Women Wear
Women of different communities wear different type of clothing.
Women of Jat community are found wearing shirt and ghagra with a chunder.
Women wear long sleeved shirts or kurtas made out of cotton.
Women wear long, free, flared skirts called ghagra. Ghaghras have different patterns and designs on them and are of many bright colours. They may also have a border at the bottom end.
Odhni or chunder is an elongated piece of cloth that women wear over their attire. The chunders have colourful borders with different patterns. Women use one end of the chunder to cover their heads. The other end is tucked in their waistline in the front
Women of Ahir Community wear angia – lehenga with a chunder.
Lehenga / Petticoats are straight fitted long skirts. They are different from ghaghras as ghagra are more free flowing and open.
Angia is a tight fitting blouse that women were to cover their torsos. The blouses come only till midway on the torso.
Women use odhni or dupatta over their attire.
Women of Haryana wear traditional Indian style of footwear just as the men do. The traditional footwear is called jutti and is worn by most communities in Northern India.
Women of these communities work outside in the fields, especially during harvest season. Thus, these dresses are designed in a manner that is comfortable for them to wear.
Women from the Aggarwal and Brahmin communities wear sarees and dhotis with kurta and odhni. Saree attire consists of a blouse, petticoat and a long cloth called saree.
Weddings are major celebrations in India. The wedding events are meant to showcase happiness and prosperity of the families. Women wear bright coloured sarees as according to the Hindu tradition. Many women, especially the younger, prefer to wear salwaar – kameez or ghagra with odhni with some great embroidery on them.
Men wear dhoti and kurta with a turban. However, The kurta worn by them is of fine clothing and with some small but spectacular embroidery work.
The women of Haryana prefer to wear their traditional style of jewellery. They usually wear small sized earrings made of gold or silver along with a necklace or chain.
Kathla is a neck piece of the Jat community. They wear this on auspicious days. Bania people wear Malas, which are long neck pieces usually made of gold, with different patterns and designs and may also have a huge pendant in the centre. Haryanvis wear costly jewellery on important days and during festivals and marriages. The ornaments mostly made of silver and gold. Aged women prefer to wear the Hansil ornaments. They are unique in their style as they are not foldable like normal chains but instead are shaped to fit around the neck in a particular form. These are made with silver and weigh heavy. Older and young women also wear a nose piercing called Nath.
Influence Of Western Culture
Due to the influence of western culture, most men, especially the ones that are travelling, have started wearing trousers and shirt. Fewer women are found in western clothing wearing pants and tops except in the major cities. Kids are commonly found wearing tops, pants and frocks. People of Haryana are also found wearing sweaters during the months of December and January.
Haryana’s dress is very famous throughout the world for Indian weddings. Women love to wear lehengas at these weddings. The attire of Haryanvis is elementary and it reflects on the simple lives that the people lead.