Although it’s not #TBT, we thought this story was definitely worth revisiting this Independence Day!
For immigrants, gaining American citizenship is a monumental day and to make it memorable, one Sri Lankan woman added a special desi touch. After 11 years of living in Bethesda, Maryland, Randani Desoysa was thrilled to finally take her oath as an American citizen in 2006. To mark the occasion, Desoysa rocked an American flag sari to her swearing-in ceremony!
Desoysa’s bold fashion choice got her a feature in the Gazette in June of 2006. The idea came to her when she received the news of her swearing-in, the American flag was the first thing she had thought of. It’s the perfect amalgamation of Desoysa’s South Asian heritage and newfound American patriotism. Desoysa immediately called her sister in Sri Lanka with instructions to get white fabric and batik it to the colors of the American flag.
Batiking is a popular method of dying fabric commonly used in Asian countries. Fabric makers use wax to keep the dyes from penetrating the cloth in certain areas leaving a space blank for other colors. Batiking allows fabric makers to create multicolored designs, which is how Desoysa’s sister was able to have the entire flag printed on the sari and matching blouse.
‘‘A man from Germany asked me where fit was from, I was so proud to tell him that American flag came from Sri Lanka,” Desoysa told the Gazette. ‘‘I was waiting for this for so long, I’m so proud to be an American. It’s a blessing. People are dying to come to this country.”
She even mentioned to the Gazette that she would wear the sari again for Independence day!