Every year, Diwali is celebrated with grandeur with every family having their own little traditions and takes on what Diwali means for them. For my family, as for many other Indian families, Diwali means dressing up, enjoying a marvellous food spread, and playing cards. This year, an apparel brand called Verma Apparel has offered a playful twist to Ugly Christmas Sweaters with their own Ugly Diwali Sweaters to give you a few laughs at family gatherings.
The Verma’s who are of South Asian diaspora started Verma Apparel during their college years. They tell us, “We started by creating ‘Ugly Diwali Sweaters’ for the first time ever after seeing ugly Christmas and ugly Hanukkah sweaters year after year. Celebrating Diwali this year will be a little different because of everything going on with COVID-19, so we dropped fun sweaters to keep everyone comfortable this holiday season. Since Diwali is a time for people to come together, especially during this politically ambiguous atmosphere, we thought that it was important for us to bond over what makes us similar rather than what sets us apart.”
Their Ugly Diwali Sweaters have large fonts, big diyas, mithais and design that is reminiscent of those Diwali cards you either made at school growing up or those that were sent to your home every year.
The US- based brand is a way for the two founders to “reclaim [their] culture and explore what it means to be intersectional members of society through our inclusive platform” as growing up in the USA they often “dealt with the dilemma of being seen as “not brown enough” by our brown peers and “not American enough” by our white peers. This is best summed up by a quote from Toni Morrison, “In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”
Verma Apparel, with their Ugly Diwali Sweaters, is trying to embrace their culture as brown people growing up in the US with the help of clothing that is inclusive and helps diversify the South Asian diaspora’s experience.
You can checkout their Ugly Diwali Sweaters, here.
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