Sarongs in South Asia

The sarong is a traditional piece of clothing particularly worn by men and women throughout much of South East Asia, South Asia, and many regions around the Pacific islands. The history of the sarong is said to be dated back for thousands of years but it is said that the sarong had originated from the Malay and Indonesian region. It has become a casual piece of clothing for all men and women of all ethnicities and religion in the specific region.

Traditional Sarong - Nude Beach Australia

“This is how the traditional sarongs are worn on special or religion occasions in the Indonesian region” (This image was taken from the wikipedia)

Sarongs are a widespread piece of clothing across the southern region of Asia. The different regions would spread from the South East of Asia, including countries like Indonesia – and all through to the Southern part of Asia, including countries like Somalia, Sri Lanka and India. Depending on what region you went to, the sarong would differ from colour, design, style and cultural purpose.

For example, in and around the Southeast Asia region, the sarongs are worn by men and women as a casual piece of clothing. Although in some other regions of South Asia, the sarong is worn on formal and religious occasions.

Here are a few different cultural representations of the sarongs in South Asia:

Sarongs in India

In India, the sarong is called two different names. In the Northern parts of India they are called phanek, but in the Southern parts of India they are called mundu, lungi or kaili. The sarongs are worn more for ceremonial purposes.

Sarongs in Somalia

In Somalia, the sarongs have become one of the most popular choices of clothing or garment in the country. So popular in Somalia, there is a huge trade market for sarongs, as well as being made in many designs, colours and sizes.

Sarong in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, the sarong is restricted to be only worn by the men. The sarong in Sri Lanka is now seen as a representation of a personal social class in society and in many communities, men refuse to wear it. It is slowly become less of a cultural resemblance towards the people of Sri Lanka.

Sarongs in South Asia are so widespread that there are different representations amongst different region. But no matter which part of South Asia you are in, the sarong is still a popular and trending piece of clothing which can be worn as you please.

Related Links – What is a sarong?

How to tie a sarong/pareo


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