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Home » Guides, Ritual and Ceremony

Replacing The ‘Iron Shirt’  

by on Tuesday, 9 December 2008One Comment | 1,925 views

In the early 90s, Safari was popular among Balinese male. That is true that Safari can show man’s dignity since its fabric and style enable it. However, in the middle of ’90, its popularity decreased. Balinese men tend to wear something more comfortable.

Replacing The ‘Iron Shirt’

Safari is a name for male clothes which is worn when Balinese men want to go to Pura or attend a traditional ceremony occasion. The fabric and style are similar to a suit which is stiff, has a collar, and many buttons. Yet, safari offers you two distinctive kind of sleeves; a short or long one. In addition Safari is also available in many colors; white, blue, green, etc. For these reasons, Balinese men, in the early of 90 were very fond of wearing this in some occasion, especially to go to Pura. Balinese men admit that Safari make someone who wear it looks awesome and dignity and dashing also.

Unfortunately, safari is so stiff and heavier than most kind of clothes, makes the wearer unable to move freely, wearing safari feels like wearing an iron shirt. Having a collar which is made from a fabric that cannot absorb the sweat makes Safari to be a good “heat conductor”. Obviously someone who gets sultry will find it uncomfortable to continue his activity.

Early in the 90s, there is another kind of men’s cloth appeared as a temple apparel. It has no collar, if there is any; it is Shanghai-collar, with sheer fabric, and fashionable style. This is known as Yoko or Koko shirt. Koko is made from cotton fabric which can absorb the sweat. Since it is made from sheer fabric then various activities during the religious ceremony can be done freely. Many young men who choose comfort over dignified look replace their safari with Koko. In the contrast on Safari which offers many colors, Koko’s color is usually white or beige.

Formerly, Koko is usually worn by the young men who conduct a youth activity like Bazaar in their Banjar. They wear Koko only in informal occasions. Yet nowadays, Balinese young men dress in Koko when they want to go to youth activity as well as to go to Pura. Not only young men, several elder men also wear Koko. The reason is one: more comfortable. About the color, young men feel that white is a proper color for a shirt to be wear for a religious activity since white represents the holiness. Pura is a holy place so that is why they think it is more proper to wear a white one. As a matter of fact this “new comer” gains popularity day by day since its initial appearance in early 90s.

Though the fans of safari have reduced considerably, but safari still has place. When there is formal meeting to be attended, Balinese men will wear their safari. Safari or Koko both are allowed to be worn to go to Pura or other traditional occasion.

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