My Labeda Surwal Experience

I never liked wearing a neck-tie. I really never did. It was constricting and uncomfortable. But wearing a necktie has been a part of our culture for a while now.  I wore one for all my

school years and also some college years. Just walk around Kathmandu or any other city in Nepal for that matter and you are bound to see teenagers in school uniform, bankers and officers and of course men at wedding processions sporting a fancy necktie with a business suit. It’s almost become mandatory to be formally dressed at weddings and it seems the western suit with a neck tie has taken its permanent place in the formal wear category.

Many Nepalese have forgotten their own national uniform/dress it seems. Daura-surwal or Labeda-surwal is a dress which dates back some six hundred years. Though wearing a coat was later introduced by the Rana rulers daura-surwal has remained the formal wear for all men in government services and other national programs. The new generation hardly owns a pair of Daura-Suruwal, and majority of them wouldn’t prefer this outfit. Unlike Nepali women’s attire-‘Sari’ is winning its appearance in the fashion world. Daura-Suruwal, the Nepali national dress is not that fashionable among men.

The last time I had worn a daura surwal was some 15 years ago at a school function. I had always wanted to try one

out at an occasion see how I like it. Well it happened this week and it was a fun experience. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was way easier to find one in the market and was much more affordable than a full business suit. Another fact about the dress that amazed me was how well this dress is designed to save us from the cold weather in the hills of Nepal.

I had not felt so uniquely myself, in my true attire, my “Daura Surwal”.


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