Saturday, April 14, 2012

The land of the lungi.

The state of Kerala is a top tourist destination. It has a literacy rate of 93.91 per cent which is the highest in India. It is advertised as "Gods own country". Travel magazines name Kerala as one of the "ten paradises" in the world!! It is known for its spice trade and has had many European influences including the Portuguese, which were taken over by the Dutch East India company, French and then the British. It is also supposed to be one of the cleanest states in India.....well not all over Kerala. according to our experience!!

Kerala's principal religions are Hinduism 56%. Islam 24% and Christianity 19% and the amazing fact is that they all get on together and support each other by attending each others festivals.
Christianity reached the shores of Kerala in 52CE with the arrival of St Thomas, one of the Twelve Apostles!!
 Kerala has the highest standard of education due largely to the missionaries that arrived and also the Communist party encouraging everyone to get a basic my informant told me!

But one of the many fascinating things of the clothing habits in this state, is the Keralan Lungi!

Young and old men wear the lungi. It consists of about two yards of fabric and is worn wrapped around the waist and secured  with a knot called a duba. The bottom half of the fabric is then folded up into the waist. There is a certain rhythm to wearing a lungi as the wearer often lets the bottom half down, flaps it around in a sort of fanning way and then tucks it back into the waist.  I was fascinated watching the men in their lungis and wondered if anything is worn underneath....a bit like the Scots and their kilts!! Who can blame anyone for wearing as little as possible in this heat!!!My husband warned me and said I might be in for a big shock when I do find out!!


  1. Hi there, has Warren tried to wear one yet?

    1. No he hasn't fortunately although I bought him one years ago. I used the fabric in a quilt anyway. Good excuse to spend,