Onboard Guide: How to Wear a Longyi

Wandering around the temple and the street of Myanmar, it will be hard to not notice one piece of clothing that Burmese (both male and female, young or elder) wears. That short skirt called a Longyi, a traditional sheet of cloth that features the unique culture of Myanmar’s people.

During your wonderful journey on the mighty Ayeyarwady, it is possible to try out this special garment of the country on cruises such as Anawrahta Cruise and The Strand Cruise. Let’s us discover how to wear a longyi and its deeps root in Burmese history this time.

Overview of Longyi – Style, design and the likes

Longyi can be seen on both male and female, but it is actually two distinct piece of clothing, Paso (ပုဆိုး) and Htamain (ထဘီ). Generally speaking, the patterns and design are different, despite looking quite similar on the outside.  

Paso’s knot is usually on the front of the waist, and the skirt can be worn upside-down or inside-out without changing its style. Paso is often made in subdued color and has several simple patterns, including stripes, plaids or checks.  Alongside with Paso, men wear modern shirt or T-shirt. When they have to do physical activity, instead of changing clothes, they will take the lower part of the paso, put it up between their legs and tuck everything at the waist.

Onboard Guide: How to Wear a LongyiChildren Playing Game while Wearing Long

Htamain, on the other hand, is more bright and its knot can be located on the side of the hip. This Female skirt is usually can only be worn one way and decorated by flowers pattern and other beautiful decoration. One other feature that Htamain has is Htet Sint,  a black band at the waist indicating which side. 

Onboard Guide: How to Wear a Longyi 2A Good Selection of Colors

Longyi is made from multiple fabrics, some of which are satin, total, but mostly cotton. In the past, Batik from Indonesia was a popular choice in the past in spite of the high price. Today, both males or females wear Longyi made from the best silks they have on special occasions. 

How to wear a longyi

For Men:

1.    Pulling the Longyi tight against your back

2.    Open it wide and large

3.    Folding on either side in front and twist

4.    Tuck the folds right at the waist 

5.    Tying the knot in front

Onboard Guide: How to Wear a Longyi 3How to Wear Longyi for Male

For Female:

1.    Open the Longyi wide

2.    Pulling the Longyi to one side or the front

3.    Folding all the excess fabric (enough to cover your the waist)

4.    Tucking everything to the other side of the waist

And that is how you wear a Longyi. If you travel on the cruises on Myanma River, the staff and crew will be glad to help you explore this special clothes. It will also be a great way to wear Longyi while traveling in local attractions.

Onboard Guide: How to Wear a Longyi 4Local Helping Wearing Longyi

Longyi in the history and its importance for today’s use

In the history of many countries, traditional clothes have become the marks from their ancestors, and Myanmar is no different. The Paso and Htamein from the precolonial time were different before the local adopted the style in Indian and Malaysia. 

In the past, it was possible to judge one’s social status based on how much cloth and its quality. In fact, the rich and royal usually worn Longyi made from expensive silk. Now, as mentioned above, Longyi is common clothes, and the poor can afford a silk one for special occasions.

Onboard Guide: How to Wear a Longyi 8Longyi Now is a Common Garment

Even though Longyi no longer was an indicator of social status, it is still being used widely because of its convenience. A Longyi is suitable for the tropical climate in the country, warm in winter and cool in the hot day. 

Onboard Guide: How to Wear a Longyi 10Wearing Longyi when Visiting a Temple

Longyi will be an excellent souvenir to bring home after your exploration of Myanmar's culture and history. Not only this reminds you of a wonderful trip but also maybe a unique piece of clothes during a hot summer party.

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