Celebrating diversity through the sari

By Latoya Newman Time of article published Sep 11, 2019

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A NEW date has been announced for the annual Durban Beach Sari Stroll.

The e​​vent, in its 10th year, will be held at the Amphitheatre at the Bay of Plenty on September 15.

The stroll has evolved into an event that promotes diversity and social cohesion, and advocates diversity for women through celebrating the sari.

More than 3000 participants - male and female, and from different races and religions - supported the event last year.

This year, the event will partner with Lancet Laboratories. Women would be able to access basic primary health screening - such as finger-prick glucose testing and blood pressure checks.

The Sari Stroll will also be incorporated into the eThekwini Municipality’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture, as part of their month of celebrations in this portfolio.

The department’s head, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, said as custodians of social cohesion, his department was tasked with creating a socially-cohesive society where different cultures and races interacted with one another in creative spaces, using culture and heritage.

“We do this so that things that would usually divide us, we can use to bring us together. The sari, for example, has been an item worn daily, as part of the cultural tapestry of the Indian community, for many years, particularity in Durban.

“We recognise the sari as a heritage garment, similar to how we would recognise Zulu skins, yet it is something we haven’t fully explored and celebrated.

“These are heritage items that we don’t want to disappear - we want it to remain in our society.”

He said over the past 10 years, the Sari Stroll attracted people from different cultures, who would not usually wear a sari.

“They come to the event dressed in a sari and celebrate together. And this is what we mean by using culture and heritage for social cohesion.”

Sari Stroll organiser Kamlesh Gounden said they used this platform to raise awareness around matters affecting women - such as abuse - with the assistance from the Advice Desk for the Abused.

* The Sari Stroll is free and open to all. For information, visit the Facebook page, Durban Beach Sari Stroll or call 0649369683.​


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