If one were to mention traditional clothing, one might think that it is still in the closet of a caveman. Truth is, it is much more modern day than that. Traditional Chinese clothing was traditionally designed by Chinese seamstresses and artisans who lived in the country’s topography: the Yangtse. Below are some of the most commonly known traditional Chinese clothing:
The most popular and traditional Chinese clothing, regardless of the country or region, is the dumpling (rencung mi), which traditionally consists of a piece of cloth that is square in cross section. The name “dumpling” comes from the two words “du” meaning small and “mei” meaning large. Originally, this type of cloth pieces were created to be used for ceremonial purposes, but today, they are used as traditional Chinese headwear.
In addition to the dumpling, another commonly recognized traditional Chinese fabric is the guqin which has two opposite sides. The term Guqin loosely translates into “decorated square scarf”. It is commonly used to portray the national symbol and used in traditional Chinese wedding. The Chinese call this type of traditional dress “yu jian” which basically means a pair of pants that covers up the front and back (yue meaning the left and the rui meaning the right).
If you want to be more literal and translate traditional Chinese characters into English, it would read as “national red carpet”. The significance behind this is very clear. This is what is referred to as the “red carpet” when it comes to the rich and famous in China. Another common traditional Chinese character clothing is the hand, which basically represents the work and status. One may also see people wearing the typical Mandarin dress, which translates literally to pants and shirt. Both these clothes are known for their high status and are worn by high government officials and prominent figures in China.
In terms of material, traditional Chinese clothing hanfu is most popular among rural people as the material is easily available and cheaper. It is made from cotton and dyed red and blue to represent the national colors. A traditional Chinese character outfit usually consists of pants and shirts or Jean jackets and shorts. A typical Jean jacket will also have Chinese symbols printed on it. A traditional Chinese characters outfit can also include gloves, shoes, belts and socks.
Hanfu is a very traditional form of clothing as it is a one piece outfit with a belt and various pockets on the inside and outside. There is also a term for those who wear no traditional Chinese characters on their faces -face tonic which is more commonly referred to today as the “Chinese face lift”. This form of hair styling originated during the late 1980s when Chinese actors were first seen sporting this form of headwear which gave an illusion of better looking features. These days the trend is still popular, but many younger Chinese women prefer a more hip hop and funky look. Neo-traditional Chinese characters are no longer considered appropriate for the modern Chinese audience.
On the other side of the argument, traditional Chinese characters have become increasingly popular in modern Chinese entertainment, especially in popular Chinese TV shows such as Hero and Detective. However, there are certain elements that make the character appealing to Chinese audiences in Western countries. The main factor is that the majority of people in the West have not been exposed to the rich heritage of traditional Chinese medicine which is slowly fading away. This form of traditional Chinese medicine treats the whole person, mind and soul, as opposed to just treating the body. There is a lot more to treating your body with acupuncture than just manipulating the hair on your head.
In the meantime, traditional Chinese medicine has also become mainstream in the West. Many Chinese Americans and Europeans have converted to the traditional Chinese medicine practices. One thing that has been noticed with these converts is that they tend to go for the more trendy, funky and macho Chinese medicine characters. This trend is not new, however; since ancient times, Chinese doctors have manipulated the characters of traditional Chinese medicine in order to treat various illnesses and disorders. If you are looking for a way to make your Chinese friends green with envy, then give them traditional Chinese medicine books; they are sure to bring a smile to their face wherever they go.