Friday, June 08
Call it a passion or love for Iran, young Kashmiri women have decided to spot Iranian Abaya, which is becoming a fashion among the young girls and women of Kashmir Valley these days. The Abaya is a loose outer garment, an extra layer of cloth which women wear over clothes. It is made of thick, opaque fabric so that nobody can see through it.
Hundreds of young girls can be seen flocking in this fancy outer garment with modern twists in design.
The Iranian Abayas come in different colours as well.
For years, wearing the traditional veil or ‘Burka’ in Kashmir was seen as a religious obligation besides being decent and promoting public morality.
However, young Kashmiri girls now-a-days prefer to drape themselves in Iranian Abaya.
“Some Abayas are open upfront, some sewn shut. The trend over the years changed a lot. Different designs come and go. Some of them have zippers or buttons on the chest. Some are fancy, some plain and some have modern twists in design,” said Mushtaq Ahmed, owner of R M Textiles.
Mushtaq, who runs a textile shop at Gonikhan, is into this business for the past 10 years.
He is witness to the ups and downs of this business but claims that sales conferred by Iranian Abayas are higher than the previous designs of any Abaya.
“We sell almost 100 to 120 Abayas per month. Abayas are in good demand. School and college-going children are the highest purchasers of Iranian Abayas,” Mushtaq said.
While an embroidered hand-made Abaya sells in Srinagar at a cost of Rs 1500 to Rs 3000, the factory-made one can be purchased at an inexpensive cost of Rs 800 to Rs 1500.
“Generally it is loose so that nobody can see the shape of the body. It also covers the head and neck,” said Asma Shora, a first year student of Women’s College M A Road.
She said Abayas vary in style and colour and the trend of wearing traditional Kashmir ‘Burka’ is almost on the verge of extinction.
“The reason why Iranian Abayas are becoming famous in Kashmir is that girls here want to cover themselves in a modern way. Though it is not easy to wear this Abaya because it is completely different from the regular one, somehow we manage to wear it,” Asma said.