In India, the women are always impeccably dressed. 

It doesn’t matter if they are doing laundry outside the door of their home in their crowded slum or walking along a busy city street with children in tow. They are always dressed well from head to toe. Ponytails swing proudly, wrapped with a string of flowers. Earrings flutter as they walk. Rows of bangles grace their arms. Their hands clutch a purse filled with essentials. Even their feet are dressed with tinkling anklets.

It’s the sarees that make them stand out – one piece of material that perfectly wraps around their bodies. I’ve only worn one once and struggled to keep everything in place for just a few hours.

But Indian women walk with ease and confidence, tossing the end of the silk over their shoulder when the wind tries to push it in a different direction.

They sit side-saddle on motorbikes with the same poise, often with a child between them and their driver. Sometimes it’s two or three children. Their bodies lunge forward and fall back with the stops and starts of Indian traffic. But they never lose their composure or their grace. I honestly have no idea how they do that.

India is a country full of color and spice. But it’s also a dry, often desolate land, covered in dusty browns and concrete grays. A thin layer of dust covers almost everything: cars, rooftops, and banyan trees. So those bright sarees, the swirls of greens, blues, oranges, and pinks, make for a stark contrast against the empty landscape. 

They make these women impossible to ignore.

In fact, they make them visible.

Maybe that’s why they take such pride in the way they present themselves – so that they are seen. Historically, culture devalues women, sees them as commodities to be used rather than treasures to be adored. But you cannot ignore an Indian woman whose head is held high and whose composure says, I am worth something. I am worthy to be honored, to be cherished.

You also cannot ignore an Indian woman crossing a busy six-lane highway with three children in tow whose saree remains in place when she gets to the other side. That woman knows who she is, who God has called her to be. She understands her mission, and is fully committed to protecting her children at all costs.

To be honest, I don’t know if the beauty that Indian women adorn themselves with elevates their place in society. But I think it must elevate how they feel about themselves. And isn’t that what is most important, how we feel about ourselves?

Indian women inspire me not because of how they dress. That would be so shallow and superficial. They inspire me because they believe in themselves enough to showcase their God-given beauty.

Am I worthy to be cherished, to be honored? Yes I am.

Do I deserve dignity and respect? Yes I do.

Can I boldly face this day, with all its challenges and roadblocks? Oh yes I can.

Indian women are always impeccably dressed. They are brave and determined. Their beauty radiates from within and is not determined by what others think of them. Oh that those shaped by social media influencers and Western standards of beauty and worth could learn that. 

Maybe we just need to start wearing sarees.


Did you know that you can support women learning how to make their own sarees?

We have dozens of skills training courses all over India. A sewing machine is given to each woman when she completes her certification. You can support an Indian woman learning a new skill to support her family.