India // vs // Sweden (Festival Edition)

Straying a bit from pop culture, I found similarities and several differences between two very different countries’ festivals. India and Sweden are from separate regions of the world, yet lying in the same hemisphere. I knew, from the moment I chose these two countries, that there would be tremendous differences. The first indicator of this was that Sweden is a bit more developed than the country of India. I have studied both of the countries thoroughly in the past, so I also knew that the cultures are also very unique. India tends to be quite spiritual, and Sweden a little less so. Now, let’s dive in to some of the similarities and differences between the actual festivals themselves, as well as the fashion choices for the events.

The Indian festival, Guide Padwa, was both similar and different from the Swedish festival, Midsummer’s eve. The basic idea of each of the celebrations is quite similar to begin with. They each celebrate a changing from one season to the next. Gudi Padwa mainly celebrates going from fall to spring, and Midsummer’s Eve celebrates the arrival of summer. From my research, I found that there is a more spiritual celebration within the festival of Gudi Padwa. They celebrate the creator (the one who they think recreated the world), Lord Brahma. A decorated flag is hoisted outside each and everyone’s door to recognize and celebrate this great legend. It also wards off any evil, they say. I found that Midsummer’s eve was a bit less deep than the Guide Padwa festival. All I found about a spiritual connection for Midsummer’s Eve was that it changed from a pagan festival into a Christian celebrated festival. Other than that, the people of Sweden celebrate summer with contests, activities, food, bonfires and a lot of dancing.

The fashionable clothing choices are where most of the differences lie. The Indian culture is associated with loose fitting, flowing and colorful clothing, whereas Sweden takes a turn toward pop culture ideals. During the Indian festival of Gudi Padwa, women wear sarees of color and gold designs and jewelry. Men wear white kurta pajamas and saffron colored turbans around their head (women sometimes do this as well). During the Swedish festival of Midsummer’s Eve, the dress code is a bit less strict than in India. The ideal attire would be something white, or light and summer colors, that flows and is comfortable. Since the sun stays out for quite a while longer than usual and it is warmer, the people of Sweden wear airy clothing to stay comfortable in the heat. Many also top their outfits off with flower crowns or different types of flower creations. The only similar aspects between the two different clothing options for each festival is that the choices of clothing are airy and flowing materials and types. They also have a “hat” topper in each festival… For Gudi Padwa it is the turbans, and for Midsummer’s Eve it is the flower crowns.

Through the research and study of the two festivals in India and Sweden, I have found several similarities and differences. The festivals themselves were quite similar, but the clothing attire is where I found most of the deviation.


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