UAE | General

Sharjah bans South Asian attire lungi in public

Police crack down on wraparound attire for men

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 April 7, 2010
  • Gulf News

Men wearing lungis strolling in a Sharjah locality
  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Men wearing lungis strolling in a Sharjah locality. Sharjah Police recently arrested a man for wearing a lungi as part of a crackdown on the attire in public.

Sharjah: Sharjah Police are cracking down on men wearing the lungi, a wraparound dress worn across some South Asian countries, in public.

An Asian man was arrested and interrogated by police patrols in Sharjah a few days ago for wearing a lungi in public.

The man said police told him lungis cannot be worn in public.

He told Gulf News he had recently been stopped by CID officers who sought to know why he was going out in public wearing a lungi. "A few days ago I had an issue with police for leaving my home wearing a lungi," he said.

The man said he had gone out wearing a lungi that had its two ends stitched together when he was stopped at a petrol station's convenience store.

"I was caught by a police at the petrol station mart. Police asked me why I had ventured out wearing a lungi and a T-shirt," he said. He said he was warned not to go out dressed in that manner since there was a law that prohibited the attire.

"My lungi covered me right up to the toe. It was fully stitched and decent and clean," said the man.

The Indian man said the lungi is considered a traditional dress in his home country and is very commonly worn.

"I want to know if there is any law of this kind," he said.

Ambiguity in rules

"Why is it that people are not allowed to wear clothes they are used to if they are not revealing," he said.

"My lungi fully covered my legs. Why did the police have to arrest me while you see so many people wearing revealing dresses in public whom no one stops," he said, adding that it called for clarifying the decency law.

"Can anyone state the law for the public so that we can avoid being stopped by the police," he said.

Sharjah Police maintain that indecent and revealing clothes are not allowed in public. "The decency law was implemented in Sharjah ten years ago," an officer said.

He said people were expected to wear decent clothes in public, but did not explain if there was a ban on wearing the lungi in public.

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.

Have your say

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Comments (53)

  1. Added 19:59 April 7, 2010

    I definitely cannot agree on the ban of the Lungi. In reference to the comment posted by Kenneth, I doubt it that you know "what a Lungi is", before making a comment on it. Lungi's are cool and equipped to suit all climates. If Mr. Kenneth had worn one, he would know the meaning of it. But instead, he seems to have chosen to place it under revealing attires. Unlike, the casual attire worn by Europeans and Americans this attire is much more polite.

    Stevenson, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 19:54 April 7, 2010

    this dress called Lungi, is very untidy. I believe that this kind of dress must only wear inside home. I saw one person beside my home wearing this and he easily move up this silk dress to scratch his legs and he goes up until his thigh, it doesn't look nice! there is somethimg you will see in shape,it is very indecent. about wearing shorts in public look indecent if you are a muslim, I agree to ban this dress also. even it is nice to see and to wear.

    elay, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 19:46 April 7, 2010

    It is same as what the arabs wear but only from the waist down, but then again the saying 'when in Rome' comes to mind.

    Javed, London, United Kingdom

  4. Added 19:44 April 7, 2010

    And we complain that they're banning the hijab in Europe???? What's wrong with wearing that while it's very "unrevealing"

    Ahmed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 19:20 April 7, 2010

    lungi much better covers body than what most of europeans wearing in malls and public place

    Ebrahim, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 19:11 April 7, 2010

    I fully agree with the authorities.lungies can be used within the home since it is a casual or night dress.

    Askar Hussain, Jubail, Saudi Arabia

  7. Added 18:33 April 7, 2010

    I am a man wearing Lungi in my room , but I never get out of the room with Lungi which I feel an indecent way of dressing. We are wearing dressess for our comfort and customs but it is to be limited within our private premise. I have lived in several Metropolitan cities in India and I heard other people are making fun of such people who are wearing Lungies in the Streets. So this dressing is considered indecent in the cities. Stop wearing Lungies in the Public places in Sharjah.

    Sekhar, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 18:33 April 7, 2010

    I agree with lungi being banned.As there should be respect of the culture and religion of the country those people live in. Other revealing clothes are dealt with by authorities ,believe me folks.

    Peace, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 18:20 April 7, 2010

    Lungis are no different than the Arab's attire and close the body all over. When the objections are raised over wearing Lungis, it should be viewed positively. More study is required by the concerned authorities and necessary action should also need to be taken first over the revealing cloths as any one can see publicly in the Malls and other places generally.

    S. Janardhanan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 13:48 April 7, 2010

    I don't agree with this. Why they did not ban people who appeard with shorts in the public then?

    Vinod, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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