700 Women in Sarees dance to ‘Naatu Naatu’ on London Streets

To mark National Handloom Day, over 700 women brightened up the London streets by dressing in sarees and dancing to ‘Naatu Naatu’.

700 Women in Sarees dance to Naatu Naatu on London Streets f

"We still live with our Indian culture here"

On August 6, 2023, the streets of London came to life as more than 700 women dressed in sarees danced to RRR‘s hit track ‘Naatu Naatu’.

The impromptu dance was part of a ‘Saree Walkathon’ to mark National Handloom Day.

Organised by the British Women in Sarees group, over 700 women walked past iconic landmarks, including Trafalgar Square and the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament Square.

The women put on a mesmerising spectacle as they sang and danced in Whitehall.

From garba to Bollywood tracks, many passers-by joined the women in their celebrations.

‘Kashmir Main, Tu Kanyakumari’ from Chennai Express was echoing in Downing Street.

The women also did not shy away from showing off their dance moves to ‘Naatu Naatu’.

In a viral video, dozens of women were seen performing a choreographed routine while others were filming.

700 Women in Sarees dance to Naatu Naatu on London Streets

Through their sarees, the women represented different Indian states.

This included Kerala’s white saree with zari border, Uttarakhand’s distinctive nose rings, Maharashtra’s nine-yard sarees and Bihar’s tussar silk hand-painted saree with Madhubani design.

The women also chanted patriotic slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ along the kilometre-long route and ended their walkathon with the Indian national anthem.

Sulekha Davda, representing Gujarat, said:

“We are proud to be Indian and British.

“We still live with our Indian culture here and we want to promote the artisans in India.”

Chanda Jha, who wore a tussar silk saree, said:

“We want to preserve the tradition of wearing sarees and protect the handloom industry from going extinct so the next generation knows about it.”

The walkathon’s organiser, Dr Dipti Jain, said she was amazed to see the lively atmosphere.

She added that the women took pride in displaying their handloom sarees.

Dr Jain said: “The British Women in Sarees is a group of empowered women who take pride in flaunting handloom sarees and representing the unique cultural melting pot that is India.

“It is a not-for-profit organisation which likes to organise events to promote our national heritage and make everyone around the world aware of the toil, handwork and artistry which goes behind weaving each of these masterpieces.”

National Handloom Day takes place on August 7, paying tribute to India’s handloom-weaving community.

It also highlights the contribution of this sector to the socio-economic development of the country.

The day is celebrated just a week before Independence Day when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Swadeshi Movement in 1905 to encourage indigenous industries and in particular handloom weavers.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

Images courtesy of Naomi Canton

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