‘Anarkali’ dresses a hit as Malaysian Indians go Diwali shoppingOctober 11th, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 11 (IANS) Elegant ‘Anarkali’ churidar-kurta women’s dresses in layered fine cloth, a throwback to India’s Mughal era, are becoming a big draw with Malaysian Indian women as they begin shopping for Diwali. The shops here in Brickfields, Jalan Masjid India and other avenues popular with ethnic Indian shoppers are stocking up on Anarkali Suits, named after the beautiful Mughal era courtesan Anarkali, with whom Prince Salim, who later became Emperor Jehangir, fell in love.
Also on display are Shreya Suits that are quite similar to Anarkali, The New Straits Times said Saturday.
Diwali, the biggest festival of the estimated 2.6 million ethnic Indian population, is still two weeks away but the heavy crowds at the shopping centres are causing parking and traffic jams, the newspaper said.
A festive fervour is already in the air, with the colours, sounds and smells of the area infusing the place. The sidewalks are crammed with Indian traders setting up stalls overflowing with Diwali goodies.
Textile shopowners are doing brisk business and some have spread their wares onto the streets to attract Indians looking for the perfect material for a resplendent dress.
The revelry and shopping are, however, tempered by the inflation triggered by the international oil crisis, forcing some to reduce the prices of their products.
Textile trader A. Eswari, 44, said she had to drastically cut down the number of stalls this year to only one from the five she usually sets up in Brickfields.
She said she was forced to take the decision due to stiff competition and the recent petrol hike.
Homemade cookies trader M. Kanthan, 43, said even though he had hiked the prices, his loyal customers still come to buy.