When Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe arrived in Ahmedabad on September 13, in an effort to cement ties between the two countries, the duo as a part of their two-day visit to India made their way to the iconic Sabarmati Ashram and the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque. While at it, the couple was seen celebrating Indian fashion and we think it was a smooth move on their part. After all, politicians and their better halves have been known to make socio-political and cultural statements through their sartorial choices.
Akei Abe wore a beautiful pink coloured salwar kameez that she paired with a cream-hued dupatta. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chose a white kurta pyjama which he layered well with a blue Nehru jacket.
This is not the first time when a politician’s wife or an international celeb has been seen wearing traditional Indian wear. In 2013, when Britain’s then Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron visited India, the lady was seen wearing a sari – not once but twice! The pink classic Banarasi number with silk embroidery on it which she wore with a shimmery blouse was something she borrowed from her Indian friend. And the other sari was a simple brown one with a dull gold border.
It was a good effort on her part as we believe it’s always a good move to try out the traditional costume of the visiting country as it signifies that one is more welcoming of the native customs and traditions and genuinely interested to learn more about it. In fact, it can be considered as the first step towards extending a friendly hand.
In 2012, queen of talk shows, Oprah Winfrey too tried the same approach when she wore a sari to an event hosted by Parmeshwar Godrej. The star who was spotted at the party in Mumbai with good friend Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looked exquisite in an orange colour Kanjeevaram sari.
Even star tennis players Serena Williams and Venus Williams wore silk saris when they visited India for Bangalore Open. Other celebs to have worn it and pulled it off with ease were singer Lady Gaga and fashion designer Victoria Beckham.