Onboard guide: How to Wear a Longyi

14 Jun 2019 by Admin

Myanmar gains its popularity for not only the magnificent Buddhist constructions scaterred across the country but also the unique culture. When in Burma, you can easily recognize a certain type of garment worn by both men and women, old and young in every corner of this country. That’s Longyi. So what is the special about this piece of cloth? Let find out via our exciting activity “How to tie a longyi” organized right on the deck of The Strand Cruise and Anawrahta Cruise on the way to this beautiful country.

This activity will provide all the information about the exquisite sarong - like tube and then the crew will show you how to tie a longyi in both common and creative ways. Furthermore, passengers can actually try wearing longyi by themselves under the instruction of the staffs. The demonstration promises to bring the relaxing and exciting atmosphere to the tourist during the voyage.

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A longyi demonstration on deck

» Here are Steps to Tie a Longyi 

  • Step 1: Step into the longyi
  • Step 2: Fold it to your liking for height
  • Step 3: Open it wide
  • Step 4: Grab the ends, fold them in then twist.
  • Step 5: Fold the left over parts into the longyi

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How to tie a longyi

 » Longyi also have an interesting history accompanied with many utilities, styles and designs that will surely suprise you. Let's find out now!

The History of Longyi 

This cylindrical cloth only becomes popular during the domination of the French in the 19th century which initially worn by men. The tubular garment was larger back in the day but bore not much difference from the present longyi.

The taungshay paso (old longyi for men) can consist of 30 feet (9.1m) of garment while the htamein (longyi for women) is 4.5 feet (1.4m) with the fabrics in a wide range of types and colors. Moreover, the type and the amount of garment worn used to be the indicator of social status which silk fabric is only reserved for the rich and the royalty.

Nowadays, longyi is still a part of the Burmese’s life, a basic lower garment worn everyday by all levels of society.

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Longyi's Design and Style

Although longyis are worn by both men and women, it’s not the unisex apparel owing to the different traditions, patterns and the way to tie the knot. There are 2 types of longyi, “Paso” for men and “htamein” for women.

The knot of the paso usually be in the front of the waist. The male wear longyi with shirt or T – shirt depending on each occasion and in the special ones, an unbuttoned jacket in the best fabric was usually put on the outside.

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The knot of Paso is tied in front of the waist

The knot of the "htamein" on the other hand be on the side of the hip. Particularly, the “htamein” which is made of soft garments like satin or silk has the black strip sewn in the waist, called “ahtet hsin” helping tighten the skirt as well as figuring out which side is up. The upper wears of the ladies’ longyi also have a variety of choices but the traditional elaborate attire has to be worn in the formal events.

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The knot of Htamein is tied on the side of the hip

The Patterns and Fabrics of Longyi

Cotton is the common type of garment used to make casual longyi while the formal wear is made of finest quality fabrics like satin or silk.

The patterns of the men’s longyi are usually checks, stripes, plaids and simple colors as they can wear it upside down or inside out without difference.

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Patterns of Paso - longyi for men with simple pattern

The women’s textiles are more vibrant and attractive with the florals, stripes or stars details. In the most important events, Burmese will wear their best longyi with the batik, acheik patterns (the ancient details designing for the royalty and mandarins).

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Patterns of Htamein

Additionally, some ethnic minorities have their own hand woven designs caring distinctive features in culture and custom, are also popular and available such as the Chin longyi, Mon longyi, Yaw longyi, etc.

At the present time, longyi can be found in every market in Myanmar. It could be made for wear already or you can find your own fabrics then have the tailors make a perfect longyi for you.

The Utilities of a Longyi

Casual longyi now is shorter and more flexible in style but the designs and patterns can be easily distinguished from other clothes. Longyi is undoubtedly an ideal clothing option in the tropical climate of Myanmar. It made of very fine fabrics which regulate temperature well, keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Besides, longyi can be folded in different types depending on the wearers’ purposes. Men can tuck the lower part of the paso at the top through the legs to create the shorter pants which is suitable for activities or sport. Women keep the htamein under the armpits before removing the top when bathing. Longyi can become an umbrella, a raincoat or even a bag if the wearer can make use of this wonderful attire.

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An interesting Longyi demontration on deck

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The staff on Anwrahta Cruise makes a bag from the Longyi garment

» Make your reservation now with Luxury Myanmar River Cruises to create timeless memories on the fascinating voyage to the golden land.

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