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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 July 23, 2019

                          13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

                          13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

                          Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie, can you help me fix my fear?”

                          Why is this so critically important to you?

                          The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life, it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                          Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share with you 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                          1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                          Right now around the world, people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                          When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear, like so many other emotions, can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                          • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                          • The man facing the judge.
                          • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                          • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr. Smith.”
                          • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                          • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                          These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                          Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car, or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                          Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                          2. Accept Your Fear

                          Firstly, if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However, it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                          We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                          And here’s what can be done.

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                          3. Get Some Perspective

                          I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                          And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                          That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                          We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                          So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                          • Are you really at risk?
                          • Will this kill you?
                          • Which leads us on to..
                          • If the worst was to happen, what would it be?

                          4. Hold a Hand

                          As a coach, it is my job to hold someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                          Like the child petrified of the thunder storm, or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                          We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                          Ask yourself:

                          • If the worst were to happen, what would that be?
                          • Could that really happen?
                          • If the worst did happen, how would you recover?
                          • If the worst were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                          By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through its wily evil ways and move forward.

                          5. Know Whose Hand You Hold, Either Physically or Emotionally

                          This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                          Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                          The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                          It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right, I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                          For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people, we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                          Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                          6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                          I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                          Not everyone was looking for greatness, however, they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                          Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in World War II. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards, how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind, he was free.

                          Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                          Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                          Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                          7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                          Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                          I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music, hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                          It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded me that nothing stays the same and I can find a way.

                          One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                          Did that moment fix the disaster that my client’s life felt? No. However, it gave them a moment of calm, and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                          It may feel like madness to do something you love, however, it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                          8. Assume the Worst

                          If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                          Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed? Think about what age it may have made them feel?Think about how they feel about champagne? What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                          And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                          When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                          Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                          9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now

                          If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                          Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                          Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head, convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                          10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                          One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                          11. Go with Fear

                          When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                          I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past, that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                          Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                          One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before, I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                          However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                          We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                          12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                          And in that client’s words, “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                          The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                          What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                          13. Own Your Fear

                          Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                          We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article, you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right! I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                          You can’t help but feel good when you see that, can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                          More Resources About Fighting Fear

                          Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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