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12 Amazing National Outfits Celebrating The Diversity of Beauty

12 Amazing National Outfits Celebrating The Diversity of Beauty

Clothing doesn’t only exist to cover us up and to protect us from the elements. People have used clothing to express their nationality, traditions, and beliefs for thousands of years. In many nations, the result is stunningly beautiful national outfits. Keep reading to learn more about the traditional dress that highlights the diversity of beauty.

1. Thailand – The Chakri

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    Photo credit: WeHeartIt.com

    When most people picture a traditional Thai outfit for women, what they most likely envision is the Chakri. The Chakri contains a basin or skirt that is made of a brocade fabric that is often interwoven with threads colored silver or gold. The top part of the Chakri is also made of silk. Finally, the outfit has a sabai. This is a piece of cloth that is worn over the shoulder and then falls across the chest. Women complete this outfit with gold and silver accessories, including belts and jewelry.

    2. Japan – Kimono

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      Photo credit: Flickr

      The kimono is arguably the most well-known traditional Japanese garment. While some older women, a very small number of men, and sumo wrestlers wear kimonos on a daily basis, most reserve their wear for special occasions. The kimono is a daily attire for sumo wrestlers because they are mandated to wear traditional clothing whenever they appear in public. These beautiful robes are t-shaped, ankle length, and secured with a belt that is called an obi. Kimonos often contain bright colors, brilliant patterns, and even scenic depictions. Cranes, cherry blossoms, and dragons are all commonly seen on Japanese kimonos.

      3. India – Salwar Kameez

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        Photo Credit: Haya Creations

        The salwar kameez is a popular garment worn by Subcontinental Indians. It is made up of the salwar which are the pants, and the Kameez which is the shirt. Both men and women in India wear this garment, however, the look is different for each gender. The salwar is simply a loose fitting trouser that is secured with a drawstring. The kameez can be styled in a variety of ways. Some are cut very traditionally, while others have a very western look. In any case, the kameez is known for ornate design, and inspiring colors. In fact, many westerners have begun to wear Indian inspired clothing manufactured and sold by various retailers.

        4. Indonesia – Sarong

        Retainers at Kraton
          Retainers at Kraton

          Photo credit: GoddessWithingyou.tumblr.com

          The sarong is a large piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist and then is secured by tucking. It is traditionally worn by Indonesian men for both casual and religious occasions. The garment is associated with Indonesian Muslim culture, but in truth, the sarong has no particular religious meaning. People in many South Asian countries wear the sarong as part of their daily dress. However, the Indonesian sarong stands out because most wearers choose to don the traditional checked pattern. Indonesian culture views this beautiful, flowing garment as a sign of modesty and good character.

          5. Philippines – Barong Tagalog

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            Photo credit: Pinterest.com

            The barong tagalong, more commonly known as simply the barong is long, embroidered shirt worn mostly by men for formal occasions. However, the garment is sometimes worn by women. Notably, Corazon Aquino frequently wore the barong during political events. Many believe this was a bit of a power move on her part. The decorative elements of these beautiful shirts are done by computer, hand, or machine embroidery. In some cases, the barong is even hand painted to add even more color and detail. Because the material is so sheer, most men wear the shirt over and undershirt.

            6. Nigeria – Agbada

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              Photo credit: Pinterset.com

              The agbada is a flowing robe that is worn by Yoruban men in Nigeria. This long sleeved garment often comes in bright colors and is ornately decorated with both colorful designs and intricate embroidery work. The agbada is worn during religious ceremonies, often with a matching cap or fez. In many families, it becomes tradition to pass the agbada down from father to son. Nigerian royalty are frequently seen wearing the agbada.

              7. Kenya – Kanzu

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                Photo credit: Pinterest.com

                White or cream colored, the Kanzu is a long tunic which is frequently paired with a sports coat. Muslim men wear this traditional garment as their daily wear, while Christians wear the garment to traditional wedding ceremonies, and other formal events. Chiefs and imams often wear a black bisht with the Kanzu. Some kanzu are decorated with purple embroidery around the sleeves and collar, however, many men opt to wear plain kanzu.

                8. West Africa – Dashiki

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                  Photo credit: Pinterest.com

                  The dashiki is a brightly colored and ornately designed shirt that is worn by many men across West Africa and in other regions. This loose-fitting garment is a pullover shirt with a V-neck collar. When worn at weddings, dashiki are usually purple or blue. For funerals, men select red and black dashiki. It is not unusual for dashiki to feature floral designs or ornate geometric patterns.

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                  9. Afghanistan – Khet Partug

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                    Photo credit: M1K Design

                    This beautiful, traditional Afghanistan outfit features the khet, which is a long, loose-fitting shirt that is slightly cinched at the waist, and the partug. The partug is a loose fitting pair of pants that is pleated around the waistline. This garment is frequently white, which helps protect wearers from the desert heat. It is also common to see khet partug that are trimmed along the sleeves, and the hem of the shirt sewed with bright, decorative features. Men and boys often sport a brocade vest over their khet partug, while women and girls wear overcoats.

                    10. Iceland – Hátíðarbúningur

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                      Photo credit: TheLovelyPlanet.net

                      This garment is a modern creation that Icelandic men frequently wear at occasions where a tuxedo would normally be required. It is a new twist on older Icelandic costumes. It features dark colors, a double breasted vest, an overcoat, and slacks. It is usually worn with long pants that taper at the ankle. This garment is a debonair touch to formal gatherings such as weddings and dances.

                      11. Mexico – Serape

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                        Photo credit: MexPro.com

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                        The serape is a brightly colored, often fringed garment worn traditionally by Mexican men. It frequently has zig-zagged, or other similar patterns. Many people confuse the serape with ponchos, because they often are made of similar materials, and are dyed in similar colors. The difference is that a traditional serape does not contain an opening for the head. Instead, it was worn as a wrap.

                        12. Tibet – Goechen Chuba

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                          Photo credit: Aculturame.com

                          A goechen chuba is a traditional dress worn by Tibetan women. This garment is an asymmetrical jumper that is traditionally worn over a long sleeved blouse. The chuba is usually brightly colored and covered with ornate pattern work. This modest, floor length dress is traditionally made of wool or silk.

                          This list of twelve represents only a fraction of the beautiful ceremonial garb, costumes, and daily garb that can be found around the world. There are literally thousands of traditional garments that are absolutely striking to observe.

                          Featured photo credit: aculturame via aculturame.com

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                          Elena Prokopets

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                          Last Updated on May 15, 2019

                          How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

                          How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

                          As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

                          “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

                          When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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                          Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

                          We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

                          But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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                          So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

                          It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

                          1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

                          Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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                          2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

                          This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

                          You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

                          3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

                          This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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                          4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

                          How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

                          So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

                          If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

                          And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

                          Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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