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Traditionally, saris (sometimes also called sarees or sharis) are woven garments that cover the body like a robe, with one end tied around the waist and the other end resting. They are sometimes worn as stoles (shawls) over one shoulder, sometimes showing a portion of the midriff.
Today, saris are fashionable garments, but thousands of years ago, they were modest drapes used by women. Saris or drapes are derived from the Indus Valley Civilization, which existed in the northwestern part of India. This civilization was founded around 1800 BC.
A classic Indian saree is traditionally paired with two garments: a petticoat and a blouse. A petticoat is a skirt-like undergarment tied around the waist by a drawstring. The colour of the petticoat must complement the base colour of the saree.
Historically, sarees have been considered symbols of deities, and wearing them is a symbol of augmentation and pride for Indian women. Saris help Indian women remain connected to their roots and respect their culture, traditions, and values.