“mama se, mama sa, ma ma KHUSSA…”

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Every country has its characteristic footwear. Many have evolved over centuries to suit the culture, climate and/or terrain of the region. Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite footwear styles, the KHUSSA of Pakistan.

Khussa are commonly referred to as “Indian shoes” but they are also called juti, or *smh* ‘Aladdin’ shoes. Despite their association with India, they originate, and to this day are made in Pakistan. They are still the traditional footwear there, as well as in India. They are similar to flats- sometimes with a curl or a pompom at the tip- and traditionally have no heel and are very comfortable.

Khussas are made using hand-stitched leather and appear in many different colorful and sophisticated varieties, making anyone fall in love with them at first glance.  I’m guilty of this love, with several pairs in my closet as proof. This unique shoe style is sported by women, men and children. Women sport khussas with everything from kameez to kurtis. I wear them with jeans and dresses to liven up my ensemble. It’s like my feet have on ‘make-up’, with all the multi-hued embroidery and beadwork gloriousness. They make a perfect summer shoe indeed.  🙂

However, with their bright colors and intricate handcrafted beading, it can be easy to overlook quality. Low quality khussas will not break in correctly, deform quickly, and can be bad for sensitive skin.

The traditional art of khussa-making which is more than 5000 years old, is now threatened as khussas are now machine-produced in newer, trendier styles (including *gasp* heels!). Well, they can make them 20 inches high, but I’m staying grounded, the original way.

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