Woman Calls Out Secondary School In Ipoh For Not Allowing Saree At Raya Celebration

The school wrote that students weren't allowed to wear sarees at its event due to the hot weather.

Cover image via @sareesandstories (Instagram) & Provided to SAYS

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A Malaysian woman recently took to Instagram to share her outrage over the dress code imposed by an all-female secondary school in Ipoh

The 46-year-old woman, Sumitra Selvaraj, a writer, told SAYS that she received a WhatsApp message from a friend who expressed concern about the school's dress code.

According to Sumitra, the dress code was for the high school's special Teacher's Day and Raya celebration, which was held on Tuesday, 16 May.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via benzoix/freepik

In a WhatsApp message that was officially written by the disciplinary unit of the school, several guidelines and rules were set for the special event

It was first noted that students were not allowed to bring their phones to school, and they would face repercussions if the rule was disobeyed.

The school then wrote a few guidelines on the dress code for the event, stating that students must wear appropriate clothing that is long and not see-through.

Students were allowed to wear baju kurung, Punjabi suits, blouses, and skirts, among others, as long as the items were past knee-level. Kurtis and cheongsams were also permitted, but must be paired with leggings or slacks.

However, they weren't allowed to wear high heels, makeup, jeans, or accessories such as bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces.

While listing the clothes that students weren't allowed to wear, the school also said that sarees would be unfitting for the event due to the hot weather

Upset at the dress code, Sumitra made an Instagram post.

She explained that the traditional Indian attire can be worn appropriately and those who wear it will not be affected by the weather.

"I'm sick of the saree being used again and again as some sort of tired trope of seduction and inappropriateness. Because that's exactly what this dress code implies," she wrote.

"It's already indicative of how the saree is perceived in Malaysia by those who don't have a clue of its adaptability, heritage value, and inclusiveness," she added.

She hoped that the school did not truly implement the dress code as it is insulting and not inclusive for all students.

Sumitra Selvaraj in her saree.

Image via @sareesandstories (Instagram)

The school told SAYS the issue is currently under investigation.

Read Sumitra's full post here.

In October, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) also banned sarees and cheongsam for its 50th convocation ceremony:

This isn't the first time local dress code rules have caused complaints amongst the public:

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