What is a lungi? The lungi is a piece of brightly coloured silk or cotton cloth that is wrapped around the waist. It is worn in India, Pakistan, Myanmar and other South Asian countries by MEN. Like a wrap-around beach skirt, that is. It covers the legs and usually up to the ankle in length but some men fold it into half and wear it like the above photo.
What with the lungi then, you ask? Well, there are so many Indians and Pakistanis here in Dubai and they do wear lungis a lot. They lunge around with their lungis at home, or in the streets on Fridays (or any day for that matter – I only see them on Fridays on my day off). I never thought of anything about lungis and lungi wearing men except that it’s a bit weird for men to wear skirt-like costumes. I have no bias to Scots – I still find it funny to see them in checkered wool skirts.
Anyway, news came to day that the adjacent Emirate Sharjah announced they ban the wearing of lungi in public! Some say it’s indecent but what is indecent about this piece of clothing? For the record, I don’t like it but why not just let them have the freedom to wear anything. Anything is good as long as it covers the private parts and not too revealing, right?
Walk around the big malls and you can find women with clothes more indecent than a lungi! Talk about cleavages and hot legs in short skimpy skirts!
If the ban is really implemented, I feel sorry for the lungi wearers. It does look like a comfy piece of clothing, especially in Dubai weather.
I find it weird how the Sharjah police found lungis to be indecent, while letting scantily clad women walk in the malls everyday. Personally, I haven’t seen men in Sharjah who wear lungi like the one shown in your first picture. Almost all of the one I’ve seen wear it long, upto their ankles. I don’t like lungis – I think it looks funny on a guy wearing it – but banning it because it’s indecent?
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There are similar sort-of-attire worn, specifically by Muslim men and women, in my hometown but they don’t wear them in public places like malls – just around their neighborhood. It’s called ‘malong’. I use malongs too, as a blanket inside the house. Malongs are usually colorful and printed, and not plain or white like those ‘lungis’, makes it look like towels and and they look like they are going to fall-off,… eeek!
I think that’s probably the reason for the ban – that it looks like it’s going to fall off; that the ban is just a preventive measure for indecent exposure.
All this inconsistent bans in Dubai is really interesting…
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Although I’m against any law that tells human beings what to wear, the feminist in me is happy to see that for once it’s not the women being legislated against. I agree that women’s skimpy, trashy clothing is worse than the lungi, but it is amusing that the two edged sword of repression (in this case in fashion) is turned against the men for once.
Perhaps there have been incidents of….ahem…..indecent exposure? They DO look comfortable, especially during the height of the desert heat.
For someone who used to live with a man who wears lap-lap (Papua New Guinea’s version) of the lungi, I would like to say that these type of clothing are pretty comfortable and if you are a man who wears jeans the whole day, wearing these free flowing clothing is refreshing and nonrestrictive. If you see these lungis, laplap or malong they are hardly fashionable and although I used to think my guy looked sexy wearing his laplap at home, I don’t think any man would chose or opt to wear this clothing for fashion’s sake. And for for those who think the ban is a preventive measure in case these piece of clothing falls off, these people know how to tie their lungis together. Some wear belts to hold them together, some use a tying technique so it does not fall off in between walks. The ban of lungi I think is ridiculous.
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I personally thing that’s horrible-I can understand if it was shorter and skimpier like you said, but it’s floor length! I don’t think they have a right to tell people they they can and can’t wear.
I, too, feel sorry for the people who choose to wear those 😦
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Indecent????????I can’t believe it…
Well I support the ban of those lungis, with respect to indians and pakies, it looks ugly!
especially for a country that’s trying to look modern, comeon … at least don’t wear it in malls!
just like before they banned cloth drying on balconies, some buildings looked funny with clothes covering them, and they were strict enforcing that law.
Thr are ppl who were more obscene clothes than lungi’s ( which is an equilent of Sarongs) btw, just to let you know the one picture on your blog is a dhoti and not a lungi…
If the so called lungi’s are banned why not spagetti straps and see thru clothes are boys with only vests in malls? aren’t they half naked as well? A person’s personal choice of clothes has nothing to do with the country aiming to look modern! It’s the laws and forward thinking that counts!
This country is really gone insane!
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Generally even in south asia folding the lungi like that in the picture is considered indecent.
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I agree with you. It does not look ugly like modern dresses as you said. We have to respect all cultures. It is their culture. As I know there are two types in these dresses. they are lungi and pancha. Pancha will be in plain white or brown color where Lungi is in checks & lines with different colors.
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I can’t imagine how men from Sharjah would run when there is a trouble. If sure their Lungi will fall while they are running.
I don’t know if it is a religious or cultural attire, but either way, it is really terrible that the government is trying to ban this type of garment. As was mentioned by Alma, the men who wear these, know what measures to take to make sure they do not fall down. Banning an item just because it is “ugly” is ridiculous – otherwise ALL the clothing of the ’70s in the US would have had to have been banned! 🙂
Plus I agree that there are SO many more items worn by both men and women that are SO much more indecent. If the government starts there, who knows what they can go after next.
I also have a slight problem with what Chris said, being against laws telling people what they can and cannot wear should be EQUAL for men and woman – that is what true feminism means.
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I read that in the papers, thought it was funny, but then..here this kind of dressing is seen as underwear. UAE men were something similar that’s plain beneath their ‘kandoora’ and plainly put, who wants to see men wearing underwear around? I understand that in some south asian countries, it’s the norm for men to wear those lungis – and even then, not all places – but like someone said, respect the place you’re in. Its worn as underwear/undergarments here, so that’s how its always going to be perceived.
Same goes for scantily clad people in malls. There are laws and rules – and I’ve read in the local paper here that most expats think they’re ambiguous since they see ppl not adhering to these rules, and getting away with it. But just because the laws are forcibly applied, doesn’t meant they don’t exist. The rules aren’t ambiguous (most malls even have pictures to help ppl understand what they mean by decent clothing). And in most cases, all you need is common sense: no bikinis or short shorts, and nothing too revealing. Simple, oui?
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are not forcibly^
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Very good decision . I hate lungi . It should be banned in the whole world. Lungi mens are impotent like my ex husband. This lungi is the reason for my divorce . Ban It all over the World.