Bananas about Bananos!

The British call them “bum bags” and in the United States they're “fanny packs,” but in Santiago, the shunned 80s phenomenon is known to all as the “banano.” Uncool, outdated and "just something you would not wear," are phrases that we Anglophones would generally associate with this crotch-covering pouch. But if you thought you’d left your bum bag/fanny pack days behind you, think again: here in Chile, the banano seems to be all the rage.

 Photo by Eileen Chong
Photo by Eileen Chong

In a city like Santiago where gringos and gringas alike are on constant watch for pickpockets and bag snatchers, the banano may offer the savvy and security you need to feel at ease in the streets. But why else should you swap your handy handbag or rucksack for a banano?

One banano-user enjoys the comfort and ease of not having to carry a bag. Another likes being able to leave the house with just the essentials, whilst a third banano fan uses his to take everything but the kitchen sink.

 Photo by Eileen Chong
Photo by Eileen Chong

Clearly, the banano can be versatile, but how should we wear it? On the hips or like a handbag seem to be the top favourite ways—just don’t let it swivel out of sight. Make sure that your banano has as many compartments as possible to maximize on space. There’s also no limit to how many one can own; some treasure just the one whilst others have a different banano for each day of the week. As for the style, leather will provide long-lasting durability for everyday usage. If you’re wondering where to purchase your very own banano, look no further than your nearest artisan market or fair.

However, bananos aren’t to everyone’s taste. For some, they’re just not comfortable and certainly not stylish. Even the wearers themselves acknowledge some of the disadvantages.

Photo by Eileen Chong
Photo by Eileen Chong

Disadvantage one: items bigger than (let’s face it) a banana just aren’t going to fit into your banano. Two: like a bad haircut, a banano just might not be the style for you. Three: if your banano is lost or stolen, all your precious items are gone forever in one foul sweep. Nevertheless, as long as your banano is kept in sight at all times, there’s no stopping you from becoming a fully-fledged banano user.

Regardless of your sex, the trick to pulling off a banano is feeling completely comfortable and confident whilst wearing it. As the saying goes, the best things come in small packages; in the case of the banano, it’s versatile and easy to keep things safe and secure. For all you gringos and Chileans who still need some convincing, in the words of one banano patriot, "Úsalo y carretéalo harto!” (“Use it and party hard with it!”)

No votes yet

Other articles you might enjoy

No related items were found.

Leave a comment