Thongs have been around for thousands of years, but this Aussie Icon did not become big in Australia until 1959 – find out more about Australia’s favorite footwear.
Many people believe the humble thong is a representation of Australian culture. Perhaps it does reflect our relaxed, some would say ‘bogan’ tendencies but we can’t really lay claim to the thong as our own.
Known in many western cultures as ‘Flip Flops’ because of the slapping sound the shoes makes when you walk, this particular type of footwear is perfect for Australia’s hot weather and beach culture lifestyle.
According to the history books the first thong was actually produced in Egypt around 4,000 BC. While these first thongs were made of papyrus, the airy shoes have been made out of various materials in various cultures.
Basically people have used whatever is on hand to make thongs – rawhide (Africa), wood ( India), Rice Straw ( China and Japan) and native plant leaves ( South America and Mexico).
The thong began its rise in Western Culture after World War II when American soldiers returned from Japan with the lightweight footwear.
Since then the thong has been made into various materials and worn by feet across the globe.
It wasn’t until Dunlop released their ‘Thongs’ in Australia in 1959 that Aussies really jumped on the thong wagon.
Below is a list of what the thong is called around the world.
Britian and U.S.A – Flip Flops
Japan – Zori
Brazil – Chinelos
New Zealand – Jandals (Japanese Sandals)
Poland – Japonki
Spain – Chancletas
Italy – Infraditi
France – Nu-pieds
On Australia Day I’m sure the majority of Australians will be wearing Havaianas a Brazilian brand of thong that certainly has made its market on the footwear market selling.
They started producing thongs in 1962 and by 2010 they were producing 150 million pairs of Havaianas per year.
Will you be wearing thongs this Australia day?