The Hanfu group of students displaying the designs at North China University of Technology - For The Telegraph
Some of the most committed, like Ms Chi, 31, don daily these intricate outfits, ignoring the stares.
They are proud to slip into robes they say reflect a return to a collective Chinese identity and traditional values.
“For example, every piece of ‘hanfu’ must have a back seam...it symbolises the integrity of a person,” said Ms Chi, spinning around to display her rear. “‘Hanfu’ embodies so much wisdom of our ancestors.”
And anyway, “it is more comfortable to wear ‘hanfu’ than modern attire – it’s loose, but still forms a nice silhouette,” she said.
Now, a social media account that chronicles the movement claims there are two million "hanfu" lovers in China. Followers around the country have formed clubs to share their love for the clothes and to stage traditional activities – putting on tea ceremonies, practicing archery, painting calligraphy and playing the zither, a stringed Chinese instrument.
The "hanfu" revival, however, highlights what experts perceive as a growing intolerance for minority ethnic groups, many of whom are persecuted under the Han ethnic majority.
“While it’s called a Zhonghua [Chinese] identity, it is a Han-centric national identity that has little space for ethnic cultural diversity," said James Leibold, a professor at Australia''s La Trobe University who specialises in China''s ethnic policy. But “hanfu” devotees say they’re simply expressing a love for their heritage.
People at times “confuse the clothing with Japanese kimonos or traditional Korean attire,” said Ms Chi. “But now more people recognise that this is the traditional attire of the Han people,” she said. “I’m just happy to show that Han people have their ethnic costumes as well.”
I teach high school students in China and can say they are not rejecting Western clothing. The kid like dressing up in traditional clothing sometimes, the clothes are beautiful and is wonderful to see them embrace their cultural heritage. That being said it is just another way for them to express themselves and not a reflection of a dislike of the West. They are very into many aspects of Western culture and eager to learn about it. Young people love meeting foreigners and many want to travel and experience the world and harbor no ill will because of a trade war.
In the USA we do this too, it’s called Vintage, people dress in clothes from the 20s etc,,,,
I don''t see anything wrong with this, I think it''s pretty awesome.As an American I like the Chinese Han culture and their traditional clothes. Not everything has to be exactly like the west. It brings flavor to a bland world.
The Tired People
Sure, and I can go to Bavaria every October and find some Germans wearing dirndl and lederhosen. Or I can go to Brooklyn and find Lubavitchers dressed like 17th century Polish merchants. Or Lancaster PA and find the Amish dressed by whatever they''re dressed as. Are these some massive trends showing the "end of foreign influence?"
Fine, but I hope you draw the line at bound feet.
Why should China have to embrace Western (or anyone''s) clothes?
When in Rome ......
Some youth, not many. Hardly a “rejection” of westernized clothing.
I always loved hanfu! It is more difficult to perform some of the activities required in the works activities today, but it looks great!
Misleading headline. I know a few Chinese that dress hanfu. they do not do it because they hate western cloth, they just do it for fun. I hate how these reporters constantly propaganda news.
But it was Chinese coolies who popularized the t-shirt, so even Western fashion is part Chinese fashion.
Dont bug me!
I call BS. Just because The Telegraph found a few Chinese that like to occasionally wear traditional Han clothing does NOT mean Chinese youth are rejecting Western clothing.
Having lived in China from 2005~2012 and still work there, you would be very hard pressed (I''d say close to impossible) to see someone on the streets in Han clothing. Perhaps in a park as they get their obligatory over price and over produced wedding photos done, yes.
And I would hardly call Ms Chi, 31, "youth".
The oldest pants in the world are dated to mummies in western China dated between 13th-10thBC so if anything western nations adopted Chinese clothing lol
I live in China. A woman wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt just walked through the door.
Sounds more like a vintage fashion trend. But hey, maybe it''s a global trend, and women in the West will return to more modest Victorian dresses.
What''s wrong with the very first top picture. The article''s title says " Chinese youth reject Westernized fashion in China for Traditional Han clothing." And yet, three people of the group are seen with light colored hair. STRUMPIDITY at its finest!
It’s dress up for some. I respect their culture but western clothes are designed for the active modern person. How many are going to work in these clothes?
Its not “rejecting” western clothing, its the same crowd that goes to cosplay events
This is pretty cool, albeit not practical for daily life.