Monday, October 25, 2004

Fashion Statement

Well today takes the award for the sleepiest day yet – I had only 3 on-class periods today, and had so much trouble staying awake in between them I took to reading in the staff tea room! The humidity has climbed to about 300% and it’s just unbelievably sapping.

The weather has been so hot lately I succumbed on the weekend, and actually bought myself 2 meri blouses at the Boroko market. Now for the uninitiated, a meri blaus is the usual garb for PNG women, seen all over the streets and in the classrooms here at Marianville – a big loose sack-like caftan type thing, usually worn over a lap lap (sarong), with lace edges and a round neck. (For more stories on PNG fashion, see my mate Jeremy’s site at

Now I’ve resisted the urge (strong tho it was!) to purchase such an item for many months now (although Sister Anita did make me a very long one earlier in the year – some of you may recall photos of me looking somewhat like the side of a house in a mumu that, although very pretty in colour and design, probably would fit Roseanne Arnold a little better than it fit me), but with the wet and extremely hot season well on it’s way, something had to give…

And would you believe, I actually had some success! I found myself not one, but TWO meri blouses that DIDN’T make me look like an elephant, and weren’t made of 100% synthetic fabrics (amazing that here in the tropics no one wears cotton – it’s all polyester girl). One B&W, one hot pink with Indonesian flowers all over it, that according to Sister Antoinette makes me look like ‘the sun walking down towards her’.

So today was the big test day – could I pull off wearing them to school (the girls’ and teachers’ reactions were never going to be a problem – they get so excited when you wear or carry anything that’s part of their culture – necklaces, billums, earrings – whatever you wear you get a huge smiling reaction) – no the question was twofold:

1) Would I be brave enough to wear a meri blaus in public? and
2) Could I manage to wear the lap lap without it falling off me half way through the day?!

And the answer to both fortunately was yes, with a very high approval rating in both the classroom and staffroom.

Though the lap lap bit did require Pia wrapping me into it like a baby’s nappy in the morning, and using two big pins to fasten it so it wouldn’t fall down!

Ah the things we do in the name of fashion…

PS Happy Birthday for yesterday Marg!!

(I won't tell the world just how old you are... Aunty...)


At 8:55 pm, Blogger Nomad said...

A photo is definatley now required! Ohh thats right you lost your charger ... how convient!

My take on Fashion as you mentioned is here.


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