Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.

This past week, many Canadians across the country celebrated Canada Day in bold red and white outfits. Each of the 15 countries where we work have their own traditional colours and customs for celebrating, too! This week, we’re showcasing our top 5 “international dress” photos that we’ve collected during our travels. Whether it be a celebration, holiday, or daily expression of culture, we hope you’ll love learning about the significance of different clothing styles around the world.

#5: Lovely lacework

Women and girls in Paraguay wear an a’o poi top with their formal attire, bearing the famous Parguayan lacework sleeves. These girls are also modeling the custom of wearing their hair in a braid or a bun. You can also spot a flower tucked in there, too!

#4: Balancing act

A popular folk dance in Tamil Nadu is called Karagattam. This dance is performed at celebrations, and for entertainment. When the dance originated, men and women balanced clay pots or jars on their heads, symbolic of their religious offering. Now they are ornamental (we hope!) but no less challenging to keep steady!

#3: Easter embroidery 

Embroidery is an ancient art-form in Ukraine, and a rich expression of a family’s unique heritage. Each region has distinctive patterns, colours and styles that can trace back hundreds of years. Families like to wear their embroidered blouses and shirts for special occasions, like an Easter celebration or family meal!

#2: Colourful and cradled 

In many parts of Africa, including Tanzania, women make good use of khangas and kitenges, wide squares of brightly patterned cloth. They can be used as wrap skirts, aprons, head wraps, shoulder bags and baby snugglies. Beautiful, colourful and useful – what more could you want?

#1: A helpful hat 

The knitted cap worn by men in the Andes is called a chulo. Beautifully and intricately designed, the patterns and colours often represent the wearer’s home region. While they can be used as part of a complete traditional outfit as performance costume, chulos are warm and practical for the chilly Andean weather, and are worn as ordinary headwear, too!

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