Dr. Parm Lalli’s formal men’s ensemble and Dr. Anita Chakravarti’s formal women’s ensemble, c. 1990s
These ensembles were purchased by Dr. Parm Lalli when he was visiting New Dehli in the 1990s. Dr. Lalli and his wife, Dr. Anita Chakravarti wore them to formal events in Saskatoon. They deliberately chose a muted colour scheme for these outfits to better match the types of formal wear worn in Canada.
Far From Familiar
Dr. Anita Chakravarti is the daughter of Dr. Aninda Chakravarti, who was a Professor of Geography at the University of Saskatchewan, first hired in the 1960s. The Chakravartis were one of the first Indian families to come to Saskatoon. Finding familiar foods, spices or clothing in Saskatchewan was difficult at the time and often these items were purchased in India and shipped to Canada.
These artifacts show the pride Dr. Chakravarti and Dr. Lalli have in both their Indian and their Canadian identities. They show how newcomers to Canada find creative ways to blend traditions and fashions of their countries of origin with new norms they encounter in Canada, creating a complex blend of old and new identities.