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For the Afghan turban, see lungee
A boy in a village of Narail, Bangladesh wearing a lungi with simple twist knot.
Photo from http://laporte.uchicago.edu


A boy from Dhaka wearing a traditional lungi and holding up a colorful lungi.


The lungi, also known as a sarong, is a garment worn around the waist in Indiamarker, Bangladeshmarker, Sri Lankamarker, Myanmarmarker (formerly Burma), Bruneimarker, Indonesiamarker, Malaysiamarker, Singaporemarker, the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It is particularly popular in regions where the heat and humidity create an unpleasant climate for trousers.

Design

Unlike dhotis, which are linear like sheets, lungis are sewn into a tube shape like a skirt. However, cheaper "open" lungis are available in identical dimensions without being sewn into a tube shape. The standard adult lungi is 115cm in height and 200cm in length, when open. Children's dhotis are available in approximately 2/3rd of this size. It is normally woven from cotton in a variety of designs and colors. Silk lungis are available for ceremonial purposes such as weddings. The most common styles are either solid-colored or plaid, reflecting the relative ease and cost-effectiveness of producing these patterns on a power loom. Blue is particularly popular, since it fades to pleasant tones in contrast to other colors. Regardless of the design or color, lungis are often lined at the top and bottom with a black/white stripe containing reinforced weaving to prevent fraying.

Usage

Depending on local tradition, lungis can be worn by men and/or women. They are tied or fastened in various ways, and can be used in different cultural activities, ranging from normal daily life to elaborate wedding ceremonies. For daily purposes, a simple "double twist" knot is most popular, where two points in the upper edge of lungi are brought together and twisted around twice, with the ends tucked in at the waist. However, it is also common for wearers to simply tie a double "pretzel knot" from 2 points on the upper border, which produces a more secure knot. The lungi's length can also be adjusted, for example, by tucking in the lungi at the waist to make it resemble a short skirt.


Regional variations

Bangladesh

The lungi ( ) is the most commonly-seen dress of Bangladeshimarker men, although it is not normally worn on formal occasions. In Bangladesh, lungis are worn by men, almost universally indoors and commonly outdoors as well. Elaborately-designed tartan cotton, batik, or silk lungis are also often presented as wedding gifts to the groom in a Bengali wedding. The typical Bangladeshi lungi is a seamless tubular shape, as opposed to the single sheet worn in other parts of South and Southeast Asia. In Bangladesh, the lungi industry is concentrated in Khulnamarker. Bengali women do not traditionally wear lungis, although non-Bengali tribal women do wear similar garments in some parts of southeastern Bangladeshmarker.

Myanmar

In Myanmarmarker, the lungi is called longyi in Burmese. For men, the lungi is known as a paso, and for women, it is known as a htamain. Lungis of different fabrics, including cotton and silk, are worn for informal and formal occasions.

Somalia

In Somaliamarker, the lungi sarong is referred to as a macawis. It is commonly worn by Somali men as casual wear. The traditional color of the macawis is plain white. However, due to trade with the Southeast Asian islands and the Indian subcontinent as well as the location of Somalia on the Spice Route, colourful Southeast Asian-style lungis have been introduced to the country.

India

In India, the customs behind wearing lungis varies by state.

In Keralamarker, the lungi, generally colourful, and available in varying designs, is worn by both men and women. Physical laborers use it as a working dress. A lungi in plain white, known as mundu, often bears a golden embroidery, especially in the border length, known as kasavu, which is worn on ceremonial occasions like weddings, festive occasions, etc. Saffron-coloured mundus are also known as kaavi munde. The men generally tuck up their mundus or lungis with the bottom of the garment being pulled up and tied back on to the waist. This would make the mundu or lungi only cover the body from the waist to the knees.

In Karnatakamarker, coloured lungi is called munda whereas plain white double folded cloth similar to lungi is called a panche, which is worn during formal ceremonies. These are also used in Orissamarker, Andhra Pradeshmarker, Uttar Pradeshmarker.

In Tamil Nadumarker, only men wear this garment, used in a similar fashion as that of Kerala's. It is also known as Kaili or Saaram/Chaaram in South Tamil Nadu. The Muslims of Tamil Nadumarker are found to favor the white colored Lungis on formal occasions.

In Punjab (both Pakistani and Indian portions), lungis are worn by both men and women.

In West Bengalmarker and Biharmarker lungi is primarily a home wear for males of all classes of society. Lungis are also worn by people who carry out manual labour.

Yemen

In Yemenmarker, the garment is called a Futah and is worn by males of all ages.

Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore

In these regions the Malay & the Indian Muslim wear the Sarong which also similar to the Lungee. However the term Lungi is not used.

References

  • http://www.tradeindia.com/about_products/796/Lungis.html


See also




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