Osariya dress signifies the importance of a Sri Lankan woman. The style is not Sri Lankan in origin; its has a definite origin across the Palk straits. In Sri Lankan Sinhala school publications the osariya is shown as women’s national dress, however the country’s minority ethnic groups does not consider it as on of their traditional dresses.
Osariya symbolizes a limited set of behaviors. Sri Lankan women, including myself, will enter that set of limitations when dressed in osariya. Powerful women leaders dress in this style on diplomatic, political and social occasions to advertise their status and importance.
The power, ethnicity and nationalism connected to the osariya, and related behavior, attitudes and social restrictions, are focused by this work.