“Mind your nadda,” you might hear an Indian aunty say as you dress for your first Indian wedding. Or perhaps “does your outfit have a nadda?” Or even “did you lose your nadda?” Meanwhile, you’re wondering what the heck a nadda is, trying not to answer any questions directed at you until you figure it out, and looking around nervously as other people respond to the question without a moment’s hesitation.
Here’s the answer: a “nadda” is a drawstring. Indian clothes almost always include some adjustable waist garment that is tied using a drawstring. Yes, even saris have naddas. Because the waist of these garments can be very large, naddas often get lost inside them. You’ll be able to find it after some work, but try not to lose it in the first place because it’s an extra annoyance on an otherwise action-packed day. Some outfits omit the nadda, expecting you to provide your own. Pro tip: check your outfit in advance to make sure it has a drawstring if necessary. If it doesn’t, you can buy drawstring lengths online, or fashion your own out of scrap fabric.