Saree Shopping

Shelby Roberts: AU Human Sciences – Summer Program in Kathmandu, Nepal Summer 2022

While in Nepal, Ally and I were determined to bring a traditional outfit home. Our friend Emma, who lives in Nepal full time, has numerous sarees that she got custom made, so she took us on an adventure a few days before returning to the US. We ventured into the city of Kathmandu with Emma and our other friend Sanjog to track down our materials for our sarees. Ally and I looked through lots of photos online to pick out a style we could show the seamstress. The whole process of tracking down our different fabrics was very chaotic. Amongst the hustling and bustling of the streets were what felt like a trillion different stores with way too many fabric options.

As Emma and Sanjog were bouncing back and forth speaking Nepali and bargaining for lower prices, Ally and I tried to keep up. We did not know what we were doing at all, so we followed close behind. Chaos continued as Emma fell into a pot hole covering herself with mud and we ate copious amounts of yogurt being sold on the street. Eventually we got all of our fabric choices together and set out for the seamstress. Through small alleys with lots of twists and turns I felt like we were in a maze, but we finally made it to a small room with a woman already prepared to take our measurements. Although the fabric searching took hours we were in and out of the seamstress’s shop in minutes.

We returned home and patiently waited for her to text Emma that our new sarees were ready. A few days later they were all finished and we couldn’t wait to try them on. We immediately changed into our fancy new outfits for no special occasion and took some fun photos on the roof. It was such a fun experience! It now hangs in my closet back home as a constant reminder of this experience full of laughter and attempts at speaking Nepali. We are wedding ready!

Auburn Abroad

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