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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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                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                          Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                          Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                          I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                          You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                          Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                          When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                          I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                          Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                          Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                          Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                          1. The Inner Critic

                          This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                          • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                          • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                          • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                          • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                          He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                          Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                          2. The Worrier

                          This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                          He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                          Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                          3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                          He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                          He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                          He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                          4. The Sleep Depriver

                          This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                          His motivation can be:

                          • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                          • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                          • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                          • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                          How can you control these squatters?

                          How to Master Your Mind

                          You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                          Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                          There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                          • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                          • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                          This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                          The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                          Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                          For the Inner Critic

                          When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                          You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                          For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                          You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                          “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                          If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                          • He riles up the Worrier.
                          • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                          • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                          • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                          • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                          Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                          Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                          For the Worrier

                          Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                          Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                          You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                          • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                          • Muscles tense

                          Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                          If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                          Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                          “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                          Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                          If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                          Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                          Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                          For example:

                          If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                          “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                          Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                          “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                          Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                          For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                          Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                          The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                          • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                          • Muscles tension

                          I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                          Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                          Breathe in through your nose:

                          • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                          • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                          • Focus on your belly rising.

                          Breathe out through your nose:

                          • Feel your lungs emptying.
                          • Focus on your belly falling.
                          • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                          Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                          Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                          One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                          Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                          For the Sleep Depriver

                          (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                          I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                          Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                          1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                          2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                          When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                          From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                          For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                          If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                          You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                          • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                          • Shut down your thinking.
                          • Calm your feelings.
                          • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                          Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                          Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                          You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                          Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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