Updated: May 3
IS IT A WRAP AROUND SKIRT? IS THAT PAJAMAS? IS IT A SARI FOR MEN?
Loongi is a long cotton cloth worn by men in India, especially in Southern India. Or at least thats what I had known until I asked wikipedia and this is what I found out. Who knew that Lungi is that popular? The lungi (لونگي) (লুঙ্গি) (/luŋɡi/), also known as a sarong, is a traditional garment worn around the waist in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Burma, Brunei, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, the Horn of Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula.
Bollywood song of Shahrukh Khan and Dipika Padukone from the movie Chennai express… “Lungi dance, lungi dance…” made this word very popular.
Growing up in India, I saw many men including my father wearing Lungi in the summer heat as their pajamas. I always thought thats just casual wear. Turns out in some parts of the world, this is actually formal attire. Many associate wearing trousers as giving in to the western culture as this was introduced to Indians by the British. Before the British invasion, normal bottoms for men in India were dhoti, lungi, salwar, pathani suits etc. There is even a folk song about trousers are no good, I mean thats some serious connection to Lungi! Here is the song…
When in white, you are my formal wear. When in design, you are a festival! What good are those trousers?!
If I wrap you around my head, you become a turban, You are a blanket if I am cold. And a sail when the wind is bold.
After I play in the sea, you become my towel. A flag when I wave A trap to catch the mango!
Ready for Cricket the I fold you in half, Ready of hanging when I twist you as a rope. Ready as bed when I’m stuck at fairs
You become a shawl when I need modesty and a carrying bag during a loot!
If this inspires you to try wearing a lungi, here you go watch this video and learn how to wear a Lungi!