Wearing tube sarong

Before knowing how to wrap, keep it on tube sarong (or “sarung” in Indonesian language) I think it’s good to know what it is :).

“Sarong” (means “scabbard” in Indonesian) is a large tube or length of fabric. Tube sarong often wrapped around the waist and worn mostly by men (sometimes and women) throughout much of South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Horn of Africa, and on many Pacific islands. The fabric most often has woven plaid or checkered patterns, or may be brightly colored by means of batik or ikat dyeing. Many modern sarongs have printed designs, often depicting animals or plants.
Sarong denotes the lower garment worn by the Indonesian men. This consists of length of fabric about a yard (0.91 m) wide and two-and-a-half yards (2.3 m) long. In the center of this sheet, across the narrower width, a panel of contrasting color or pattern about one foot wide is woven or dyed into the fabric, which is known as the “kepala” (or “head”) of the sarong. This sheet is stitched at the narrower edges to form a tube.

So some practical information:

How men wearing tube sarong

In Java, most people now wear Western clothing. Traditional tube sarong is worn for ceremonies, for Friday prayers, and in its casual form, to relax at home. For casual and Friday wear the soft cotton tubular sarong is very cool and comfortable. Men wear them in plaids. The central Javanese courts of Solo and Yogyakarta are famed for their intricate batik “kain panjang” in fine cotton, with tiny pleats created with the loose front end piece of the cloth falling straight in front. Men wear tube sarong with a short jacket, often with gold trim and buttons.

It is common for the sarong to slip or loosen over time. When this happens, just open it up and refold/re-tighten it again.

How women wearing tube sarong

In Javanese culture, the wearing of batik tube sarong is not restricted to women on formal occasions such as weddings, common wear with a “kebaya” blouse. The style of the “kebaya” varies – there are gauze-fine ones with beautiful embroidery, or heavier ones with lacy cutouts. Older “kebaya” have no buttons; they were held closed by ornate gold or silver pins.
Women slipped into, pulled up to the waist or underarm, depending on whether one wants a skirt or the strapless look, and the top is carefully folded to cinch the sarong tightly around the body, then rolled down to secure. Traditionally these were worn as a strapless dress, with a “selendang”, or shoulder cloth, for formal occasions, or as a skirt, worn with or without a blouse. Today in some remote villages it’s still possible to find women pounding rice with only an old sarong tied around their waists, but they now usually pull the sarong up when they see foreigners. Formal dress today consists of a beautifully patterned sarong, worn with a fine blouse and “selendang”. Every day wear is often an old sarong with soft floral patterns and T-shirt.
Tubular sarongs are usually worn by older women; younger women prefer the more flattering fit of the tightly wrapped two or two-and-a-half meter “kain panjang” (literally “long cloth”).

If you want to wear tube sarong you should do the same like it’s written above (how to wear tube sarong for men). I wear at home my tube sarong in original way, shorter when it’s hot outside and like dress (very comfortable especially after the shower :)).

How to use tube sarong for other purpose

Indonesian man using tube sarong not only by original purpose but for other things as well. You can try it too, no matter if you are man or women ;).

After the trip to Sulawesi island, our guide showed other ways how people there use tube sarong for other purpose.

How to use tube sarong - pinterest
Pin it for later!

 

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  • Have you tried to use tube sarong? It was comfortable for you?
  • Would you like to buy a tube sarong like a souvenir from the trip in Southeast Asia?
  • Have you tried any other local clothes during your trips?

LIKE WHAT YOU READ? #LetsTravelInAsia

Subscribe here and receive tips, stories for your next trip straight to your inbox! Follow my adventures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and get updates!

 

 

Information used from Javanese people sharing and internet sources. Illustrations made by Hendra Arkan

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

How to eat with hands and tools
How to use squat toilet
How to take shower in Indonesia

 

Main gestures and poses in Indonesia

There are the gestures and poses that Indonesian people do almost unconsciously. After some time living in Indonesia the foreigners starts do the same :). Some of them just because to show respect for local cultural manners, others – see so many examples around, that just assimilate (for example like me ;)). To make these gestures it’s not obligatory for foreigners but if you will do that, I think, Indonesians will appreciate it ;).

Greetings

Shake hands softly and then slightly touch your chest afterwards.

Men usually give a stronger grip than women when they are shaking hands.
Touching your chest after shaking hands demonstrates respect to other person (you’re taking their greeting into your heart).


Giving and receiving things

Always use your right hand when passing and receiving things. Using the left hand is considered very impolite. Slightly bow your head as you say “thank you”.

Giving and receiving

 

 

 

 

 

 


Walking past people

Slightly bow your body and put right hand in front of body as walk in front of someone and say “permisi” (“excuse me”).

Pass people

 

 

 

 

 


Calling someone over

Just waving fingers downwards if you want to call someone over.

Calling

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sitting

Indonesians like to sit just on the floor when they visiting people, eating, doing things at home and etc. Some of the local eating places “angkringan” mostly provides you only sitting places on the floor on carpets “tikar”. So even if you are not used to sit like this, soon (if you will stay longer in Indonesia) you will just adapt to this habit :).

Males: Sit with feet crossed at the ankles (it’s called “bersila“).

Females: Sit with feet tucked under them, turned down on the floor. The same like yoga “Diamond” pose. Most probably you will see more often women sitting like males, but more polite to sit like this.

Women sitting style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrations made by Hendra Arkan.

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

Indonesian people lifestyle
Good manners in Indonesia
How to use squat toilet

 

Eating with hands, tools

For some people from other countries, especially who never have been in Asian countries, can be quite surprised to see how Indonesian people eats.

First of all, mostly Indonesians use right hand (“muluk”) to eat food. They do that because they believe that food taste better eating with hands as well after eating usually they lick the fingers to show satisfaction of food taste. In eating places usually waiter with food brings and small bowel with water – it’s for cleaning the hands before eating and after the food. If waiter won’t bring eating tools – you can ask to do that, usually they have them as well.

Second, you can see that people as well eating with spoon and fork, but very rare with knife. Like they believe that knife is a weapon, as well they can do everything with the hand – so why use the knife?  Eating with hands for Indonesians more common, like they know what they did with their hands before. Using tools means that they don’t know how and who used it before, how it was cleaned and etc.

Eating with hands

It can be quite challenge for foreigners. Truly to say, till now I don’t used to eat with hands (yet) ;).
Pinch your thumb and fingers together around the food (usually done with rice), making it into a ball and eat! Will need some practice till you will enjoy this process ;).


Eating with spoon and fork

Did you ever try to eat with hands? You enjoyed? :)

 

Illustrations made by Hendra Arkan.

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

How to take a shower in Indonesia
Main gestures and poses in Indonesia
Indonesian people lifestyle