Men Wear Skirts – Women Wear Pants

                       06 Dec 2007


The clothes worn by many of the Bangladesh people seem strange to the Western visitor.  The skirt-like clothing called a lungee  (LOON ghe) is worn by many of the men while many women wear a pants-like garment called a Shaliwa Khameese. (SHA li wa KA meese)  This type of attire is common in many countries in South Asia, the Mideast and in West Africa.

Western looking garments are gradually replacing the lungee; however, the lungee has many practical benefits not found in the traditional Western clothing.  The most obvious is that it is much easier to make and, typically, one size of the loose fitting garment fits all.  It can be used for wearing to work, to school, for lounging, sleeping, swimming, and climbing.

 Some of the uses of the garment show its versatility.  … When used as a mosquito net, one loosens the twist at the waist, squats down, and pulls a small part up and over his head.  As bed sheets, it also serves well as one loosens it, lies down, and curls up in it.  One can change out of a wet lungee at bath time into a dry one right in public and never be exposed.  An interesting note is that men wash their own clothes at daily bath time.

 Shunil’s (Shew neel’s) family are Hindus and live in a small village near Jessore.  Shunil’s, wife cooks on a small wood stove located on the porch of their two-room home made of bamboo and thatch.  Next to the stove is a chicken coop used to confine their chickens at night.  Shunil is a barber and goes to the homes of professional business people in Jessore to cut their hair as well as give a head, neck, back, and arms massage.  He is paid the equivalent of one to two dollars for each haircut and massage.

 Shunil would be happy to see you.  Won’t you come to Bangladesh and visit with him and his family?


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