Indian-Amercian economist Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer received the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel at the Nobel Prize Award ceremony held in Stockholm, Sweden. The trip received the Prize in Economic Sciences “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”
While Abhijit Banerjee opted for a black bandhgala paired with a traditional dhoti, his wife Esther chose to wear a saree to the event. Their colleague, Kremer, stuck to the Nobel dress code and came in a formal black suit. Now the Nobel Award ceremony has traditionally been a strictly formal affair; the official site for the Prize mentions the dress code which is expected to be adhered to by all attendees. The men are expected to be dressed in “white tie and tails” while women are supposed to wear evening gowns. Both Duflo and Banerjee chose to deviate from the dress code and go with Indian formal attire instead.
More than the award, it was this gesture which caught the attention of desi Twitter, who were quite impressed with the dapper outfit that Banerjee donned at the event. As a Twitter user pointed out, he looks every bit the ‘Bengali Bhadralok’ that Bengal is so proud of. It would be interesting to point out that most erstwhile winners of the Nobel Prize from India have stuck to the dress code specified by the institution. For instance, when Amartya Sen received the Nobel in 1998 for Economics for his work related to famine and poverty, he too wore a formal black suit with white tie and tail.