By C. Brandon Chapman, College of Education

sari-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Saris worn by some Indian women can be upwards of nine yards long and tied 300 different ways. Those were among the facts shared recently in the first in a series of cultural exchanges planned by the international committee in the College of Education.

“It was so awesome to share our culture,” said Kripa Sundararajan, a graduate student in educational psychology. “I wish we could do this more often. People were really excited to try on the sari and know more about it.”

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WSU program coordinator Rani Muthukrishnan, left, shows graduate student Hafize Sahin, of Turkey, one way to don the traditional Indian sari.

Men were able to try on the mundu or veshti, a traditional garment worn mainly during weddings or other ceremonial events.

“People had a lot of questions about the length of the mundu, what colors they come in, what traditions they’re worn for,” said student Sreejith Thankappan.

The presenters were pleased to share their culture, said Phyllis Erdman, the college’s associate dean for academic affairs: “They were so excited; it was just so neat to see.”

Other cultures to be featured will be:

• March 14 – Saudi

• March 28 – Libyan

• April 11 – Mexican

Find details at http://education.wsu.edu/diversity/internationaldays.html. Other dates and cultures have yet to be determined. The events are funded by the college and are free to the public.

Last summer, the college named Gisela Ernst-Slavit the first associate dean for diversity and international programs.