For school nurse Helen Chen, her fascination with India started two years ago when she began learning belly dance and Indian dance.
She said she was particularly taken with the beauty of the sari.
“It’s amazing how a 5m length of exquisitely embroidered cloth can perfectly complement the curves of a woman’s body,” said Chen, dressed in a carefully draped beige sari with delicate pink beadwork. “Moreover, it is extraordinary that the same sari can look completely different on different women.”
The sari also holds an attraction for Galina Chang, a freshman majoring in Russian at National Chengchi University, although her interest is more that of a collector.
But it was from her hobby of collecting traditional garments from around the world that her passion for Indian culture grew.
Chang, who owns 20 saris, said that when she wears them she feels more free compared with the constrained feeling she experiences when wearing Japanese kimonos.
India might be 4,400km away from Taiwan, but it can be brought closer simply by sharing one’s passion for the culture with other aficionados, said Veney Ting, a self-taught henna artist.
The women said they would like to see this achieved through the current interest in Slumdog Millionaire, which they thought could raise awareness of India and attract people to learn more about that part of the world.