The Durban beachfront promenade looked vibrant and colourful as scores of sari-clad women participated in the Seventh Annual Durban Beachfront Sari Stroll, displaying social cohesion and celebrating cultural diversity.
One of the organisers and founding members, Kamlesh Gounden of the Arya Samaj, says this event is intended to bring a diverse group of women together.
“It started off with two friends having tea who were talking about saris, which led to a conversation around showcasing the significance of the sari. This concept: showcasing saris, dancing, singing and enjoying each other’s company, regardless of race, became a plan in motion,” Gounden explained.
“The sari adds class, dignity and makes one feel sexy. You can do anything in a sari. The aim is to learn from other cultures.”
The driving force, a team of six like minded women, began the inaugural eastern stroll in 2010 and found that it soon attracted attention ,drawing in more participants and further interest.
These high-spirited women later joined hands with the eThekwini municipality and made this highly anticipated event even bigger.
The participants, decked in their eastern wear, were enthusiastic and proud to display their beautiful saris.
“This is my first time participating in this event and I am enjoying it. I don’t wear a sari often, but I am really glad that social events like these allow different cultures to celebrate each other, said a enthusiastic participant, Rani Govender.
“I really enjoy watching Bollywood movies and to wear a sari for the first time is a dream come true. I am grateful that I have a sari of my own now,” so said Ayanda Ndlovu, another participant.
Every year, temples and businesses sponsor new saris to participants who do not possess one.
It is hoped that this display of cultural interaction, sisterhood and glamour, continues for many years to come.