Is it traditional Muslim men’s clothing, traditional Indian men’s loungewear or traditional Tribal/aborigines men and women’s dress?
The lungi is primarily a traditional Muslim men’s clothing whereas the dhoti is considered traditional Hindu wear. However, lungis are not worn only by Muslims: tribal groups, aborigines, and other peoples in the Indian subcontinent and surrounding regions also wear lungis. Each group has its own style of lungi.
Tribal people weave their own lungis, which are worn by both men and women. They use special dyed coarse thread, which is part of their traditions and heritage. The technique behind weaving this garment is very simple. If you like to learn how, watch this video:
Lungis are loose and relaxing to wear. They can be comfortably worn during Namaz (Muslim prayer), five times a day, so Muslim men prefer to wear them at these times. Personally, I prefer to change into my lungi after I have just returned home from work. Since many wear this garment as loungewear, you don’t see it in many official or formal functions. However, people often wear it around the house, as well as in some outdoor activities.
The lungi is a piece of cloth measuring 9 feet x 6 feet, worn around the waist, like trousers. A lungi-wearer must be careful when putting on the cloth. After wrapping it around his waist, he must secure it with a knot. If the knot is not tight enough, when the wearer moves, the lungi will fall to the ground, exposing the person to anyone present. Even long-time lungi-wearers are susceptible to this mistake, so it is important to tie the knot well.
Laborers and farmers in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan also often wear lungis. To ensure that their lungis don’t come undone throughout the long work day, they fasten it with a thin, strong rope. With such protection in place, the laborers can work freely and effectively.
About the Author
Paul P. Saha is a professional consultant who actively serves 300 government registered NGOs in Bangladesh. The last 30 years, he has been effectively and successfully showing his extraordinary contribution in preservation of human rights to the disadvantaged and vulnerable girls and women.