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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Which is better thing to wear -- the dhoti or the lungi?

    This is a very simple thing. The dresses are predominantly South Indian. We get to see both in so many parts of the South.

    There have been some changes. The half pants and the track suits have taken over. On most days, day in and day out, the younger generation get to wear either of these at home.

    But the dhoti and the lungi are still there. In most small towns, across all communities it is the lungi all the way. The Brahmin communities do not welcome the lungi at all. In Kerala, it is a great sight to see the dhoti, all the way, in the superbly maintained temples.

    Which is better? The lungi is stictched and can be adjusted a little more than a dhoti. It can also hide dirt, as the bright colors tend to take on the heat far better than the white dhoti.

    My vote is for the dhoti, as I not worn a lungi for almost three decades now.
  • #637487
    This true the traditional dress of Andhra is Dhoti and lalchi. In Tamil Nadu people prefer Lungi. Even the priest in Uyshnava temples everywhere go with lungi and khandava. But slowly people converted to Phants and shorts. Now many youths are wearing half Phants which were called Nikkars earlier.
    These days many people in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana especially Brahmins and Vysyas go by Lungi during the stay at house and Phant and Shirt when we go outside. Elderly people who are around 70 years and many of the farmers in these two states wear Dhotiswhen they go for outside work also. They never prefer pants and shirts.
    As far as I am concerned I am very comfortable with Lungi when I am in the house during daytime and night time. O prefer Lungi and T-Shirt. When I go out if it is an informal gathering or shopping or movie I go with pant and T-shirt. For official works, I always go with pant and shirt either half sleeves or full sleeves.

    always confident

  • #637490
    Both the dhoti and lungi are the gents wear. The difference is - Dhoti is pure white while lungi is colourful. Dhoti is a gentle dress that is worn outside the house, and lungi is a home dress. Anyone loitering outside the house in a lungi is not respected. It is not wise to wear lungi inside a temple or during any party or function. These days, Dhotis are available in different shades viz Kaavi, Red, yellow, green etc. These dhotis are mainly used for temple functions. As the dhoti or lungi doesn't rest in my waist but slips, I tie a elastic belt over the dhoti or lungi to keep it tight.
    While in city, I wear pant and shirt outside the home, and wear lungi inside the home. I wear a Kaavi dhoti and visit my village temples. I hardly wear a white dhoti.

    In Kerala, the Muslim women wear lungi at home.

    No life without Sun

  • #637498
    Not only in Kerala, in Myanmar and in the North-Eastern part of India, ladies wear lungi. I like both dhoti and lungi for the comfort these provide, but unfortunately, I don't wear these dresses.
    It is my dream that after my retirement, I would return to Calcutta, wear lungi and go the 'rock (chowpal) and enjoy the 'adda' for which Calcuttans are so famous/infamous.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #637500
    Dhoti is actually a traditional wear of pure white cloth with length about four metres. It is practically like pants -with the cloth parting the legs, by the unique way it is folded and tucked up. If we look at some very old photographs, movies or pictures of yesteryears, we can see that dhoti was the traditional wear almost all over the country for males.

    In the southern parts, it came to be worn plain by just wrapping around the waist and then allowing it to cover the lower part of the body just as a wrap. If needed it can be tucked up at half length so that it stays like knee-length half pants. The Lungi as we know now was originally known as "Kaili' or "Kallimundu'. It was mostly worn by Mohammedans.

    Our tradition prescribes 'Shubra vastra' or clean white clothes. That is why still people wear the white Dhoti or white Mundu. The 'Mundu' otherwise called as Single Dhoti is about two metres in length. Present day people use the traditional dhoti and use it half folded lengthwise as 'Double Mundu".

    Clothing is mostly evolved as suitable to the weather conditions of the area. As the southern parts are mostly sunny and humid and rainy with water flow everywhere, clothes which can be easily worn, washed and dried, sufficiently loose and ventilating and amenable to change the length to avoid dirtying by rainwater are mostly worn. The lungi type dhoti suits all this.

    In olden times the women also used to wear the lungi type white dhoti. Sarees and other dresses came later on.

  • #637505
    Both are comfortable but your choice would depend on the situation.

    Dhoti exudes elegance, wearing it implies tradition, a religious event. Lungi implies the opposite, it's informal, worn for comfort at home, in the locality except for certain geographic areas. One can get way wearing a Dhoti to functions or social gatherings but such liberties cannot be taken with the Lungi.

  • #637584
    Instead, go ahead & use the one we feel comfortable to. I am saying this as the new generation has got a different taste with them for different walks of life. I have never seen such a vast perceptions of an individual who is found to be trendy in everything including what he wear & what he eat etc.

  • #637594
    Generally it is seen that the habit of wearing dhothi or lungi vary according to castes and religion. In Kerala, generally, Kerala Brahmins (Nambudiris) use only dhothi. They use double when they go out while single is used in home. It is (was) a practice to give dhothi to a guest if he stay during might, for changing.
    Lungis have replaced the dhoties among those who work in the field. This change is due to conveniences. Because those who work in fields face the problem of their cloths getting soiled. After completing the work they change the dress and opt for white dhothi.
    Women also use dhothi and a half sari (called veshti), both white, whiile they are inside their house (this is more applicable to Brahmins and other upper class Hindus). It may be noted that, even now there is the practice of giving a new dhothi (double) to every close relatives on the occasion of a marriage ( son's or daughter's). Similarly a pair of dhothi and veshti to every women relatives. This is again referring to Kerala Brahmins. Dhothi has got much importance among this group of people.


  • #637596
    One should know the difference between dhoti and the lungi . Dhoti is the traditional wear and it has many sizes and length and the color will be white only.. For the normal casual dhoti 4 Muzham is enough. But for wearing a traditional Panchakajam dhothi one must have 9x5 dhoti which gives the right get up. And Lungi are essentially colored and used for wearing during nights. Like nighties for ladies, lungies are preferred by gents at night. And when you are entering a temple with dhoti and preferebly with Panchakajam, you are taken into even santum santoram of the God and given all the honors. But those who are wearing a Lungi is not even allowed to enter the temple. For many Lungi is considered inauspicious to wear during festivities and functions. Whereas dhotis are much preferred and gives the great look in any functions.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

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