Bengaluru is officially “socially woke”. A new term coined by millennials, it means being socially aware, educated and promoting equality. In a city where dance, music and drama based on social issues are conducted every week, it doesn’t come as a surprise that every step is about making a statement. From gender neutral fashion to dyeing the tip of their hair in rainbow shades, Bengaluru is all about upholding the social justice warrior aura and for good measure now!
Sustainable living and all vegan eateries have been a trend within the city for quite a while now. However, what used to be a trend has now evolved into daily practices, or a way of life. Dishika Chandra, a 23-year-old city-based ad-personnel has been pro-vegan for the last five years. According to her, “It is the very choice to be vegan that brings about the most pivotal change to the environment, animals and nature. The lifestyle is a lot more about what you gain than what you’re doing. The effort towards a sustainable future is also about saving money, living longer and living a life full of values.”
Most of the interest and intrigue to adapt to a socially aware lifestyle and become ‘woke’ is all about a wiser approach to life. Yet Bengalureans are taking it up a notch, by sporting fashion and a sense of style that supports it. Graphic tees teamed with vibrant hair colours, piercings, et all – people are keen on making a statement while simultaneously expressing themselves. “Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford had sparked a new level of fierce when they had said they would rather go naked than ever wear fur. It is the kind of boldness we need to express with the faces and part of us that we show the world,” believes 29-year-old Navneet Pathak, a student activist within the city. “The idea is to not just voice your opinions. Most of these trends are sported and flaunted with the keenness to spread awareness. For me, it’s all about solidarity with the minorities and an act to speak out my own voice.”
The latest in thing is a unique concept called Gender Neutral fashion. Ruchika Parab along with her partners Janina Frahm and Shruti Singhi started the initiative as an “urban phenomenon spinning off art and popular culture to bring together different points of view on the subject”. The goal is to create a gender equal future where characteristics like strength, aggression, sensitivity, compassion, are not the domain of any particular sex. People are free to have personalities, lifestyle choices, clothing choices, careers, that don’t depend on them being male or female. It’s a world without expectations and preconceived ideas. Basically no judgment,” says Ruchika. The fact that Bengaluru heavily resonates with the same idea is clear too with the kind of response Ruchika’s initiative has been receiving from the city.
From fashion to recyclable accessories – the new age of Bengalureans are leaving no stone unturned to revolutionize the world they are living in. As sociologist Deepti Khanna says, “It is important to create that scope for a better dialogue with people across a spectrum of social issues. People are more impressionable via mediums of art, literature, fashion and even sustainable living. What helps is that Bengaluru is a beautiful potpourri of diversity. It only catalyzes the youth’s interest to strive for a better world.”...