Lungi

Last updated
A boy in a village of Narail, Bangladesh wearing a lungi with simple twist knot LungiBoypagne.jpg
A boy in a village of Narail, Bangladesh wearing a lungi with simple twist knot

The lungi is a type of sarong that originated in the Indian Subcontinent. The multicoloured lungi is a men's skirt usually tied around the lower waist below the navel. It is popular as casual wear and night wear in places, where the heat and humidity of the climate increase sweating, [1] and make it unpleasant and uncomfortable to wear closed or tight clothes such as trousers. [2]

Contents

Design

They are especially worn in hot regions. There are also cheaper "open" lungis, in identical dimensions but not sewn into a tube shape. The standard adult lungi is 115 centimetres (45 in) in height and 200 cm (79 in) in length, when open. Children's lungis are approximately two-thirds of this size. They are normally woven from cotton and come in a variety of designs and colors. Silk lungis are used for ceremonial purposes such as weddings. The most common styles are solid-colored and 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.

The border of a Bangladeshi lungi, showing the black & white reinforced weave border to minimize fraying LungiBorder.jpg
The border of a Bangladeshi lungi, showing the black & white reinforced weave border to minimize fraying

Usage

Depending on local tradition, lungis can be worn by men or women (rarely). 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, [3] 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. This is mostly used for labourers who have to work for a long time under a hot sun.

Regional variations

India

In India, the customs of wearing lungis vary by state. It can be worn with or without the traditional unsewn kaupinam or modern sewn langot, both of which are types of traditional loincloth undergarments.

Salt-field worker in Tamil Nadu wearing a lungi in typical tucked-up position for work Salt field worker.jpg
Salt-field worker in Tamil Nadu wearing a lungi in typical tucked-up position for work

In Kerala, the lungi is generally colourful and available in various designs, and is worn by both men and women. It is also called 'kaili'. Labourers typically wear it while working. A mundu/dhoti is a variation of the lungi and is mostly plain white. It often bears golden embroidery (kasavu), especially at the border. It is worn as formal attire and on ceremonial occasions like weddings, festivals, etc. Saffron-coloured lungis are known as kaavi mundu. Men sometimes tuck up their mundus or lungis with the bottom of the garment being pulled up and tied back on to the waist. In this case, the mundu or lungi only covers the body from the waist to the knees.

In Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, only men wear this garment. It is also known as kaili or sāram/chāram in South Tamil Nadu.

In Tamil Nadu, the veshti or dhoti is a traditional wear. People wear veshtis for formal occasions whereas lungis are worn as informal or casual wear by some. Lungis with checked pattern are more popular.

It is common on the Konkan side of the state of Karnataka, mostly worn by the Nawayath people from Bhatkal. Most of them wear it as their daily attire. It is as a mark of tradition in Bhatkal. They are mostly sewn in a cylindrical shape.

In Punjab, lungis are worn by both men and women. The male lungi is also called a tehmat, [4] [5] while the female lungi is called a laacha. They are part of traditional dance attire in Bhangra dance groups, but are also popular in rural areas as home wear. They are generally tied in a different way than in other parts of India and are, as a rule, unstitched and very colourful. Wearing the lungi has declined in the Punjab region in recent years. [6] [ when? ]

Rice farmer in Odisha wearing a lungi in tucked-up Rice Farmer Near Anantapalli Village Odisha.JPG
Rice farmer in Odisha wearing a lungi in tucked-up

In Odisha and West Bengal, the lungi is primarily worn at home by men of all societal classes. Hindu men generally avoid wearing lungis on the street. In Odisha, Sambalpuri with the Sambalpuri pattern and mule based lungis from Khordha are available in addition to normal cotton fabric lungis.

In Bihar and Haryana, the lungi is considered a night garment for men.

In Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh the lungi is often worn by tribal people. Previously, they used to wear a small cloth around their waist.

In Uttar Pradesh, lungi has been falsely associated exclusively with Islamic clothing by Hindu nationalists [ citation needed ].

Arab world

Harari old man wearing an Izaar. Old man in Harar.jpg
Harari old man wearing an Izaar.

An izaar, also izar or ʾizār (Arabic : إِزَار), [7] also known as futah (فُوطَة), [7] [8] [9] [10] maʿawaz (مَعَوَز), [11] [7] [12] [13] wizarah (وِزَرَة), [14] maqtab (مَقْطَب) [11] [15] [16] [12] is a traditional Yemeni clothing worn in Yemen especially by Hadhrami people who call it "saroun صارون" in their local dialect. It is a lower garment typically worn by men in Yemen, also known in U, Iraq, Kuwai Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea). Omani people typically wear a white izaar underneath the Thawb instead of sirwar pyjamas. It is commonly worn by Yemenis at home, and work. [17] In some parts of Arabia such as Yemen and the Jizan and ʿAsir regions of Saudi Arabia, it is known as futah instead. Some of these may feature tassels.

Sultanate of Oman

In the Sultanate of Oman, the garment is referred to as a 'wizar'; it is worn in all regions by men and is recognized as an undergarment to the traditional Omani 'dishdasha'. It is wrapped around the waist quite differently to the Indian style as it is folded left then right to make a straight seam in the middle. The wizar is usually white (north of country) with a colourful border. The wizar can be worn as an in house garment as most Omani's simply remove their dishdasha when at home and relax in their wizar and vests. In the region of Dhofar, located in the south of Oman, it is common to see a colorful variant of the wizar, which is worn more openly outdoors than it is in the north.

Bangladesh

Boatman in Bangladesh wearing a lungi raataarguler jiibn o jiibikaa.jpg
Boatman in Bangladesh wearing a lungi

The lungi (Bengali : লুঙ্গি), is the most commonly seen dress of Bangladeshi men, although it is not normally worn for formal occasions. In Bangladesh, lungis are worn by men, almost universally indoors, but commonly outdoors as well. Elaborately designed tartan cotton, batik, or silk lungis are often presented as wedding gifts to the groom in a Bangladeshi 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 Sirajganj, Kushtia, Pabna, and Khulna. Bangladeshi women do not traditionally wear lungis, although non-Bengali tribal women do wear similar garments in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

In April 2013, the Baridhara Housing Society—a housing society in Dhaka—banned the lungi and began refusing entry to those who wore them. Many opposed the ban, however, taking to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to criticize the decision. A march took place on 13 April to oppose the ban. U.S Ambassador Dan Mozena has been seen wearing a lungi in front of his house. [18]

Myanmar

In Myanmar, it is spelt longyi. For men, the longyi is known as a paso (Burmese: ပုဆိုး), and for women, it is known as a htamein (Burmese: ထဘီ). Longyis of different fabrics, including cotton and silk, are worn for both informal and formal occasions.

Thailand

In Thailand, it is known as a pa kao mah (Thai: ผ้าขาวม้า) for men and a pa toong (Thai: ผ้าถุง) for women.

Maldives

In Maldives, it is known as mundu. In modern times, it is worn by elderly men exclusively.

In 2013, a song called "Lungi Dance" was made and used as a promotion song. It was written, composed and sung by the rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh and features himself along with Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone.

See also

Related Research Articles

Draped garment Any item of clothing made from a length of cloth wrapped, folded, pinned, or tied around the body

A draped garment is a garment that is made of a single piece of cloth that is draped around the body; drapes are not cut away or stitched as in a tailored garment. Drapes can held to the body by means of knotting, pinning, fibulae, clasps, sashes, belts, tying drawstrings, or just plain friction and gravity alone. Many draped garments consist of only one single piece.

Loincloth Cloth worn around the loins, usually in warm climates

A loincloth is a one-piece garment, either wrapped around itself or kept in place by a belt. It covers the genitals and, at least partially, the buttocks. Loincloths which are held up by belts or strings are specifically known as breechcloth or breechclout. Often, the flaps hang down in front and back.

Sari Womans draped garment of Indian Subcontinent

A sari is a women's garment from the Indian subcontinent that consists of an unstitched drape varying from 4.5 to 9 yards in length and 600 to 1,200 millimetres in breadth that is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, partly baring the midriff. It is traditionally worn in the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. There are various styles of sari manufacture and draping, the most common being the Nivi style. The sari is worn with a fitted bodice commonly called a choli and a petticoat called ghagra, parkar, or ul-pavadai. It remains fashionable in the Indian Subcontinent today.

<i>Kurta</i> Various forms of loose and long shirts or tunics worn traditionally in South Asia

A kurta is a loose collarless shirt worn in many regions of South Asia, and now also worn around the world. Tracing its roots to Central Asian nomadic tunics, or upper body garments, of the late-ancient- or early-medieval era, the kurta has evolved stylistically over the centuries, especially in South Asia, as a garment for everyday wear as well as for formal occasions.

Dhoti Traditional garment worn by men in the Indian subcontinent

The dhoti, also known as veshti, vetti, dhuti, mardani, chaadra, dhotar, or Jaiñbohorpanchey, is a type of sarong, tied in a manner that outwardly resembles "loose trousers". It is a lower garment forming part of the national or ethnic costume for men in the Indian subcontinent. The dhoti is fashioned out of a rectangular piece of unstitched cloth, usually around 4.5 metres (15 ft) long, wrapped around the waist and the legs and knotted either in the front or the back. Dhotis come in plain or solid colours, silk dhotis with embroidered borders are considered to be formal wear. The dhoti is touted as the male counterpart of the sari worn by females to religious and secular ceremonies (functions).

Sarong Traditional garment of the Malay Archipelago and the Pacific Islands

A sarong or sarung is a large tube or length of fabric, often wrapped around the waist, worn in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, Northern Africa, East Africa, West Africa, and on many Pacific islands. The fabric often has woven plaid or checkered patterns, or may be brightly colored by means of batik or ikat dyeing. Many modern sarongs have printed designs, often depicting animals or plants. Different types of sarongs are worn in different places in the world, notably the lungi in the Indian subcontinent and the izaar in the Arabian Peninsula.

Clothing in India is dependent upon the different ethnicity, geography, climate, and cultural traditions of the people of each region of India. Historically, male and female clothing has evolved from simple garments like kaupina, langota, achkan, lungi, sari, gamcha, and loincloths to cover the body into elaborate costumes not only used in daily wear, but also on festive occasions, as well as rituals and dance performances. In urban areas, western clothing is common and uniformly worn by people of all social levels. India also has a great diversity in terms of weaves, fibers, colours, and material of clothing. Sometimes, color codes are followed in clothing based on the religion and ritual concerned. The clothing in India also encompasses the wide variety of Indian embroidery, prints, handwork, embellishment, styles of wearing clothes. A wide mix of Indian traditional clothing and western styles can be seen in India.

Mundu Traditional draped garment for the lower body, worn in South Asia and the Maldives

The mundu is a garment worn around the waist in the Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, the Lakshadweep archipelago, and the Indian Ocean island nation of Maldives. It is closely related to sarongs like dhotis and lungis. It is normally woven in cotton and coloured white or cream. The colour is dependent on whether the cotton is bleached or unbleached. A khadaṟ muṇṭŭ is made using handlooms. When unbleached, the mundu is called nēriyatu. In modern times, two types of mundu are prevalent—the single and the double. A single mundu is wrapped only once around the waist, while the double one is folded in half before wearing. A mundu is usually starched before use.

Longyi Cylindrical hip-wrap worn in Myanmar

A longyi is a sheet of cloth widely worn in Myanmar. It is approximately 2 metres (6.6 ft) long and 80 centimetres (2.6 ft) wide. The cloth is often sewn into a cylindrical shape. It is worn around the waist, running to the feet, and held in place by folding fabric over without a knot. It is sometimes folded up to the knee for comfort. Myanmar lon chee originated in India. Similar garments are found in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Malay Archipelago. In the Indian subcontinent it is known variously as a lungi, longi, kaili or saaram.

Men who cannot read are like the blind; women who cannot weave are like the cripple.

Tupenu

Tupenu is the Tongan term for a wrapped garment also called a sarong, lungi, or lava-lava, worn through much of South Asia, Southeast Asia, Arabian peninsula, the Horn of Africa and Oceania. It is analogous to the kilt worn in Scotland.

Mundum neriyatum Traditional clothing

Mundum neriyatum is the traditional clothing of women in Kerala, a state in southwestern India. It is the oldest remnant of the ancient form of the sari which covered only the lower part of the body. In the mundum neriyatum, the most basic traditional piece is the mundu or lower garment which is the ancient form of the sari denoted in Malayalam as tuṇi, while the nēriyatu forms the upper garment the mundu. The mundum neriyatum consists of two pieces of cloth, and could be worn in either the traditional style with the nēriyatu tucked inside the blouse, or in the modern style with the nēriyatu worn over the left shoulder.

Subligaculum Undergarment worn in Ancient Rome

A subligaculum was a kind of undergarment worn by ancient Romans. It could come either in the form of a pair of shorts, or in the form of a simple loincloth wrapped around the lower body. It could be worn both by men and women. In particular, it was part of the dress of gladiators, athletes, and of actors on the stage. Leather subligacula have been found in excavations of Roman London.

<i>Sampot</i> Cambodian traditional dress

A sampot, a long, rectangular cloth worn around the lower body, is a traditional dress in Cambodia. It can be draped and folded in several different ways. The traditional dress is similar to the dhoti of Southern Asia. It is also worn in the neighboring countries of Laos and Thailand where it is known as pha nung.

Mens skirts Skirt-like garments worn by men and boys

Outside Western cultures, men's clothing commonly includes skirts and skirt-like garments; however, in North America and much of Europe, the wearing of a skirt is today usually seen as typical for women and girls and not heterosexual men and boys, the most notable exceptions being the cassock and the kilt. People have variously attempted to promote the wearing of skirts by men in Western culture and to do away with this gender distinction.

Taqiyah (cap) Short rounded skullcap worn by some Muslims

The Taqiyah or araqchin is a short, rounded skullcap. It is often worn for religious purposes; for example, Muslims believe that the Islamic prophet Muhammad used to keep his head covered, therefore making it mustahabb. Muslim men often wear them during the five daily prayers.

Kaupinam Undergarment

The kaupinam, kaupina or langot or lungooty is an undergarment worn by Indian men as a loincloth or underclothing, usually by pehalwan exercising or sparring in dangal at traditional wrestling akharas. It is made up of a rectangular strip of cotton cloth used to cover the genitals with the help of the strings connected to the four ends of the cloth for binding it around the waist of the wearer. It is used by wrestlers in the game of Kushti or traditional Indian wrestling in the akhada and during practice sessions and training.

Wrap (clothing)

In the context of clothing, a wrap can refer to a shawl or stole or other fabric wrapped about the upper body, or a simple skirt-type garment made by wrapping a piece of material round the lower body. Many people of all genders throughout the world wear wraps in everyday life, although in the West they are largely worn by women. They are sometimes sewn at the edges to form a tube which keeps the required size. A wrap may be secured by a corner being tucked beneath the wrapped material, by making a knot, or using ties, buttons or velcro.

Izaar Loose Garment For Lower Body

An izaar, also izar or ʾizār, also known as futah (فُوطَة), maʿawaz (مَعَوَز), wizarah (وِزَرَة), maqtab (مَقْطَب) is a traditional Yemeni clothing worn in Yemen especially by Hadhrami people who call it "saroun صارون" in their local dialect. It is a lower garment typically worn by men in Yemen, also known in the UAE, Iraq, KuwaiBahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and the Horn of Africa. Omani people typically wear a white izaar underneath the Thawb instead of sirwar pyjamas. Izaar-like clothing is also worn in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and countries in some parts of East Africa and in India. It is commonly worn by Yemenis at home, and work. In some parts of Arabia such as Yemen and the Jizan and ʿAsir regions of Saudi Arabia, it is known as futah instead. It is also worn in the city of Aqaba. Some of these may feature tassels.

Punjabi Tamba and Kurta Type of sarong and shirt, traditional costume in Punjab

Punjabi Kurta and Tamba are traditional costume for men of Punjab.

Sindhi clothing Clothing style of Sindh province

Sindhi women wear the Ghagra Choli or the sari and the men wear the shalwar kameez or the kurta with pyjamma. However, before the adoption of the Shalwar kameez, the sari and the kurta, Sindhi's had their own traditional costumes.

References

  1. 1400 Bananas, 76 Towns & 1 Million People. 18 September 2014. ISBN   9789381115800.
  2. Hindustan Times [ dead link ]
  3. How to wear or tie a Lungi (2021-02-25). "How to tie". Mr.lungi.
  4. Development: A Saga of Two Worlds: Vismambhor Nath 2002 (Ashok Mukar Mittal Publishers)
  5. Lahore: A Sentimental Journey Pran Neville Penguin Books
  6. Harkesh Singh Kehal (1995). Alop Ho Reha Punjabi Virsa (in Punjabi).
  7. 1 2 3 Ayman Al-Arabi (24 April 2010). "Methods of Weaving and Embroidering the Yemenite Fouta: A Descriptive, Analytic Study" (PDF). The Jordanian Journal of Arts. 1 (3): 77–94.
  8. "Yemeni traditional dress. Yemen is a country with a remarkably diverse fashion". nationalclothing.org.
  9. "Fūṭah | clothing".
  10. Marshall Cavendish (1 September 2006). World and Its Peoples. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 142–. ISBN   978-0-7614-7571-2.
  11. 1 2 http://www.26sep.net/newsweekarticle.php?sid=7030 [ dead link ]
  12. 1 2 الأسواق الشعبية [Popular Markets]. Taiz Governorate Information Center (in Arabic).
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-05-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Exploring Saudi Arabia: Tihama and Faifa".
  15. Moshe Piamenta (1991). Dictionary of Post-Classical Yemeni Arabic Part: 2. BRILL. pp. 404–. ISBN   90-04-09293-5.
  16. "Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula: MOs & Deductions" (PDF). Small Wars Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  17. ICharacter and Morals By Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman
  18. Priyo Photo share a moment! (2012-12-30). "US Ambassador Mozena | Priyo Photo". Photo.priyo.com. Archived from the original on 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-03.