So last week, a video commercial went viral online. An online clothing shop has brought what it must have thought "a revolutionary change" to our unofficial national attire for men: Lungi.
As advertised, the shop has replaced the traditional lungi knot with hook-and-loop fasteners, popularly known as Velcro, which is actually a brand that produces and sells fasteners.
The company did not stop here. They have added a new feature: A pocket!
To attract buyers, the producers are saying that "lungi aar kopal kokhon khule jabe keu jane na."
Dubbed as lungi version-2, the new design has triggered a mixed reaction among the citizens.
Some have welcomed the new design saying it is safer than traditional lungi because lungis are notorious in terms of accidental doffing. They are also saying that the newly introduced pocket will turn out to be very useful as everyone nowadays carry a face mask with them in case of facing a mobile court which might fine them for not having a mask. They can now keep the mask in the pocket just in case.
But not everyone is happy with the attempted modification. Some are even angered by the move.
Gulmohor Miah, the president of Lungi Rokkha Somiti, told The Businness Standard, "Lungi is a part of the thousand-year old Bengali culture. Mass people will resist any attempt to distort its traditional design."
Taleb Ali, the general secretary of the same organisation said, "A mother never drops her infant from her lap; likewise, a veteran lungi user is never afraid of accidental doffing." Lungi Rokkha Somiti will organise lungi tying workshop to train amateur lungi users who struggle with lungi knots, and often wake up after a cold night only to find their upper body covered in their lungi and a bare lower part, Taleb added.
Taleb Ali also hinted that there might be a foreign connection behind what he sees as a conspiracy to destroy the country's culture and tradition and demanded the conspirators be brought to justice.
Bayezid Tonu, another lungi fan wrote on the viral post, "You are tarnishing the image of lungi."
Galib Hasan said, "It cannot be called a lungi anymore. You have turned it into a plazo."
Alamin Nayeem wrote, "Outrageous!"
Aal Maruf Russell, chair of the National Committee in Bangladesh of IUCL (International Union for Conservation of Lungi) told The Business Standard, "Thirty-three and half types of lungi knots are already listed in the IUCL Red List as Extinct, four of them are Critically Endangered, two are Near Threatened. Only two of them are surviving well and are classified as Least Concern." He called for the preservation of remaining lungi knots.
This satirist has no clue how lungi knots can of thirty-three and HALF types. Asked about this, Aal Maruf Russell hurriedly hung up the phone saying he has to fasten his lungi which has just loosened.