Why I wore a Traditional dress at my Convocation ft. Uppsala University
I won’t be lying if I say I was having second thoughts about this outfit to wear for my Convocation. So the big day is here and I am about to attend my first-ever graduating ceremony for my Master´s degree.
So days earlier I sent an invitation to get my parents to come for my convocation in Sweden. It was a long shot but we still tried and to my delight, my Baba was on his way from Pakistan to join me. I asked him to prepare a Pakistani outfit. I put a rough sketch together and sent him the ideas. And guess what? It was exactly the way I had imagined. My handsome Baba! My friend, Abder Rehman called him, James Bond of Pakistan! 😄
For myself, I picked a green frock from Abu Dabi to wear on this day. To me, convocation is like a knot between your academic and professional life. So business casual or formal is obviously the right choice. A wardrobe is also a mindset. No? So Baba brings over this purple dress hand embroidered from my native town of Khanpur, Pakistan as a gift. I decide to wear this to my convocation. Not just it was a gift from Baba but also because I wanted to bring colours of my culture, tradition, spirit and identity from Pakistan to Sweden and to this event. Baba helped me pin up the dupatta and I giggled saying, ´I can’t decide if I am headed to a formal event or a local mela in Pakistan´. You see, I was well aware of how my make-up and overall look also made me ready-to-attend neighbor´s wedding. But I enjoyed carrying this dress and felt great about my decision.
Baba and I were both in our Pakistani attire and we both were gleaming with joy as the ceremony went on. I also concluded that this is exactly how I feel about my professional world, a space where identity meets creativity and culture and where we make the best of what we have while feeling confident and ready to take over the world even in a sparkly purple dress.
Big Congrats to all the graduating students of Uppsala University, 2022