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Lower Secondary English essays

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How much importance do you place on a traditional dress over a modern dress ?
 
All around the world, traditional dress nowadays has become the attire that is taken out for an airing only during special festivals or occasions. Modern dress has become the norm because its design and fabric tend to be kinder in our increasingly hotter global climate. However, I am of the opinion that traditional dress also has an important place in our world.

Traditional dress, as its name suggests, provides a link to one's cultural heritage. It tells the wearer a little of the history that surrounds its design, fabric and even color. For example, in Japan, the kimono is worn in different styles for people of different status. The color also sets the people apart in terms of social importance. It conjures up images of a time long past when valiant heroes used to do battle for honor and pride, while the women themselves were testimony to the grace and beauty of the oriental lady. Thus, understanding the traditional costume of a culture is tantamount to learning its history.

Furthermore, the traditional dress is usually handcrafted and thus intricate in its workmanship and design. Take, for example, the Peranakan attire, which boasts delicate sewing and a filmy hug of the figure. These flatter the feminine figure, thus making the female form a delight to behold. In the same way, traditional dress for men is normally cut to present a stoical and masculine figure. It is obvious that the traditional dress across all cultures basically serves to clearly delineate gender roles.

However, a traditional dress can be uncomfortably fussy and difficult to wear. The beautifully flattering Indian sari can take a lot of time and skill to tie as it involves sometimes up to twelve yards of soft textile! In the same way, the kimono requires one other person to tie the sash properly, or it will look terribly untidy. Even the heaviness of the traditional dress can be a problem as it is usually an outfit with many different layers. Obviously, ease was not the top priority in days gone by.

A modern dress is far more comfortable as it is usually made of lightweight material and simple styles. Gone are the time-consuming sashes and yards of cloth that marked the traditional dress. In their place are comfortable cuts which serve functional needs. In fact, the modern dress can be so androgynous that they are unisex. This further makes shopping easier and less of a headache.

However, therein also lies the problem with modern dress. There is little identity associated with the attire. They are mass-produced and hence one can run the risk of encountering similarly clad people. But the good thing is that one's personal style then comes into play if looking like one of the crowd is to be avoided. This allows far more room for individuality than the traditional dress would.

Whether it is the traditional or modern dress, the issue should always be the comfort of the wearer rather than its looks. This is because a person can be clad in a fussy traditional kimono and still feel comfortable and look good while someone in a cyber-punk outfit may be decidedly uncomfortable with its figure-hugging cut. Thus, both types of dress are still relevant today whether as sources of history or simply as a daily attire.

     
stoical   patient
     
delineate   define
     
androgynous   neutral
 
 

 

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Lower secondary English essays 1

 
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