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Rainbows x Fogbows

Hey guys,

So I wanted to do a post where I’d let you guys know more about me. The first idea that came into my head was the get to know me tag, but I felt that that would be quite restrictive and wouldn’t give me the flexibility of expressing all that I wanted, alas I decided to start a new series: Rainbows x Fogbows

Culture is something I hold closely to my heart. Not only because I’m personally blessed and immersed in two beautiful cultures myself, but because without culture the world would seriously be -as cliche as it may sound- a fogbow (which is a colorless rainbow) rather than a rainbow. I don’t know about you guys but when I think of culture I think colourful colours! Think about it, culture is the rainbow which bonds us all together, all of us from different cultures have our own colour that we contribute. In one way or another,all cultures have at least one thing in common. There are a lot of common features of the two cultures I’m immersed in and I’ll be touching upon them as this series progresses. This series will have a touch of lifestyle, food and of course fashion. I hope you guys get to know more about me and learn more about my culture. Let’s get to it shall we!

Let’s start with the basics before getting into the details, I am half Japanese and half Ethiopian. Japanese by my dad’s side and Ethiopian by my mom’s side. Most of you probably know where Japan is (East Asia in case you don’t), Ethiopia on the other hand is in East Africa. Cool combo huh 😉

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Today I’ll be presenting the cultural outfits of both countries. I figured I’d prioritize the clothing first then let the lifestyle aspect flow through.Let me first introduce the Habesha Kemis(which translates to habesha: Ethiopian and kemis: dress, ‘Ethiopian Dress’)  which is the Ethiopian cultural clothing, there are of course other outfits from the different parts of Ethiopia but this represents the generic worn outfit throughout the country. I sadly cannot get my hands on these outfits from the different parts of Ethiopia at the moment. However, when I do get a chance to, I will be sure to make a post for you guys featuring them! Anywho let’s get back to the habesha kemis, for women they come in two different sizes: long dresses and short dresses with an accompanying shawl. Whereas for men, they come in two pieces consisting of long sleeved or short sleeved shirts, along with trousers. The habesha kemis is generally hand woven, white and also has colorful crosses embroidered on it. Recently however colored fabric has started to replace the usual white fabric that’s used. I haven’t gotten myself these recent colorful creations but I shall soon!

Now for the Japanese cultural clothing: the Kimono. Just like the habesha kemis there are 2 different versions for both genders yet there is only 1 version which all ethnicities wear. Kimonos tend to have unlimited patterns whereas the Habesha Kemis has limited patterns. I.e. a kimono can be completely patterned whereas a habesha kemis has the narrow band at the front and back and the sleeves. Nonetheless I love how both outfits are unique in their own  respective ways. The traditional kimono requires several layers underneath the top layer whereas the yukata( a lighter version of a kimono) doesn’t.

For shoes to accompany the outfits, the kimono requires clogs, the habesha kemis on the other hand doesn’t have a specific requirement, though it’s more acceptable to pair it with sandals. Yet I haven’t adhered to these requirements and I’ve experimented by pairing a habesha kemis with heels and ankle sock boots and it’s gone perfectly well. I’ve similarly tried pairing a kimono with wedges which I found uncomfortable haha that pairing is never to be repeated, I shall stick to clogs with the kimono.

Hope you guys got some insight on these two stunning outfits. I’m really excited to see how this series goes and how much you guys will learn about my two amazing cultures;) Do share your thoughts down below!

Stay tuned for more Mikaesque posts~

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15 Comments

  1. How wonderful and a really cool combo. Thanks for sharing about the two outfits and the cultural relevance between both.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  2. What a lovely post and you really are a beautiful mix of two amazing cultures that are so rich and diverse. Love the style of the habesha kemis, it’s very flattering.

  3. These are such gorgeous dresses! I love seeing how people dress around the world, and embrace cultures through fashion.

  4. Stephanie Jeannot says:

    So funny that my last post was focused on culture as well. So cool of you to touch on this subject. We all have in common that we all have our own songs and dances and baggage. Not that different from each other.

  5. This was such a beautiful way to let us know more about you and the cultures you celebrate and while teaching us somethings we might not have known. I love your description of the rainbows that bring us all together too. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this series!

  6. I love kimonos. I think it’s the most beautiful national clothing. It looks so feminine on ladies! and so unusual! you totally rock it girl!

  7. I think this is an excellent idea for a series and I’m really looking forward to it! I love that you’re showcasing two cultures. It’s so fascinating to learn about!

  8. What a beautiful post. I love how you described the relevance of two cultures and their outfits. I have heard and seen kimonos but did not know much about habesha kemis though I have seen them a lot on social media. Both the outfits look so beautiful, with all the colors, patterns and details.

  9. It is so amazing that you get both of both worlds. I would love to have children that unique… I will make sure they maximize both cultural experinces.

  10. Angela Ricardo Bethea says:

    Great post! Very well explanation in different outfits. and good to know about this.

  11. You are so lucky to have such a rich cultural heritage! I’m really glad you share with us, I’ve learnt new things reading you!

    Nati | Polished Polyglot

  12. Thank you for sharing about yourself. The outfits are pretty and how amazing it is for you to share two cultures in two different continents!
    <3

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