One of the most prominent and traditional accessory from Punjab, the Paranda is worn and festooned by women not just in the state of Punjab and India, but has also earned itself a global appeal. The bright colored long tassels braided in the hair are not a thing of the past anymore but a trend which is loved globally.
Origin and History
Paranda has its own history and culture to foretell but less is known on how and where it originated. It’s been said that Paranda was initially worn by the women when they didn’t have many accessories to decorate their hair with. In ancient times when fashion was about simplicity and soberness, the women used to weave multicolored threads together and tie it in their hair in order to make it look pretty and to also to make it appear longer.
Punjab is a state full of tradition and culture. With its rich lifestyle, food, artifacts, jewellery, clothes, Punjab is the most sought after place not just by tourists but also by the people of India.
The villages in various districts of Jalandhar, Amritsar, Nikodar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana are solely engaged in the industry of creating and designing these Paranda’s.
It is also known that the Paranda is a symbol of love, which a bride-to-be gets from the husband, and she braids it around in her hair as a token of love. As a Punjabi tradition, the bride dances wearing the paranda while she mesmerizes her husband and winds and weaves her love in his heart.
In archaic times the Paranda’s were also referred to as the black Saap (snake).
The Paranda’s are available in various kinds; each Paranda has its own uniqueness and is designed exclusively depending on the occasion. They are not just known for their style and as an accessory but are known for the vibrant colors too.
The Paranda’s are also worn by the woman during the traditional dance of the state- Giddha.
These trimmings which are soaked in color are braided in the hair of women; the more exuberant and longer it is, the better. The Paranda’s are mostly seen being wrapped with a golden ribbon in order to make it more prominent and visible.
The industry has innovated the way the Paranda is made and used. From the traditional old thread paranda’s, to the custom made ones. People do not use the common colors and threads, but also add on beads, studs, silk threads and many other embellishments in order to appeal to a wider range of tastes and styles. The different threads that are now used are polyester, recycled fibers of different kinds, the firefly yarn, or Nylon.
Women now don’t color their hair or add extensions but just braid these threads or Paranda’s in order to make the look longer and brighter and more eloquent as per their choice.
Paranda’s are accessorized with a lot of jewellery such as bangles, tikka, jhumkas, necklace and a nose ring. The women also accessorize it by matching it with their footwear- the jutti’s as it is called in the state of Punjab.
The women don’t just wear it with traditional outfits like salwar kameez but also team it up with modern day wear by rolling it up in a bun which gives a colored hair effect and makes it look more fashionable.
Paranda is used by the women in India extensively, whether it’s just for fun and fashion or traditional occasion, their attire stands incomplete without it. It is appealing to the people worldwide as well owning to its bright colors and unique designs. The trend for hair accessories and headgear in fashion industry has brought this art on a global platform.
The paranda is a hit in the European markets and countries where the women are seen wearing them in the forms of hair extensions.
Interesting Facts and Comparisons
- The more pieces used, the better it is for the Paranda as it makes the hair look thicker.
- Paranda is also known as a black snake – a common metaphor used by the locals.