Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, December 15 – I think these sleeve covers that the Chinese ladies use are a great idea! They are basically just tubes of fabric (or plastic) with elastic at either end. You pull them up over your sleeves, or bare arms, to protect your clothing or skin while you are cooking, cleaning, out riding your scooter or whatever. As you can see from the variety available, they are pretty much a fashion accessory like a scarf, but for your working hours! I’ve only seen women wearing these, but there is a pair for sale in this picture that says “Happy Father’s Day” so maybe they are for men too?
Clothes shopping…the good and bad. Good first: This picture is from an RT Mart in the town next to us, Dalang. (RT Mart is a chain based in Taiwan, like a Super Kmart or Walmart) Stores like this and department stores usually offer pants hemming free of charge. You must pay for your clothes separately in this department, so it’s convenient to just drop them off after purchasing and you can finish your shopping then pick them back up. The store wasn’t busy today, so the lady working was doing something for a man while he waited. The bad: Finding clothes to fit! Although I can finally fit into a US ladies size 12, I am still an XXXL in China! Stores like this usually carry clothes in most styles up to XXL, so walking into stores and finding clothes to buy is rather difficult! Depending on the style, I have managed to buy some things :-)
Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, Feb 6 - On Chinese New Year, It’s important for everyone to wear a complete outfit of new clothes, as it symbolizes a new start for the new year. In the stores, you see much more traditional style clothing than at other times, and of course the favorite color is red! Gold is also popular, and pink and purple for girls and ladies. Many people prefer Western styles nowadays, it seems the traditional styles are most popular for children. Colors can also vary, but the big no-no’s are black and white, these are the colors symbolizing funerals and death and are believed to bring bad luck if worn on New Year’s Day. Many people also have their hair washed and cut just before the New Year. Washing it on New Year’s Day is believed to wash away your luck, and using scissors for anything the first few days of the new year is considered bad luck because you are “cutting” your wealth.
Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, January 28 - The traditional belief of the Chinese is that during the year of your zodiac sign, you will have bad luck…. But, you can wear red all year to change this! As you should know by now, red is THE color for everything lucky during Chinese New Year! In modern times, many people no longer believe as strongly in the traditional beliefs, but this one is fun :-) Luckily, red looks great on Chinese people, and, if they get tired of wearing red clothes every day, hopefully they have their red undergarments, socks, or jewelry. The key to these red items changing bad luck to good, is that someone else buys them for you; It doesn’t work if you buy them for yourself! The upcoming year will be the year of the Monkey, so, if you are close to a monkey, join in the Chinese celebrations and buy them some red underwear!
Years of the Monkey: Feb.20,1920-Feb.7,1921, Feb.6,1932-Jan.25,1933, Jan.25,1944-Feb.12,1945, Feb.12,1956-Jan.30,1957, Jan.30,1968-Feb.16,1969, Feb.16,1980-Feb.4,1981, Feb.4,1992-Jan.22,1993, Jan.22,2004-Feb.8,2005
Life in China: A Picture a Day, 2016, January 7 - Today we went to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin. My favorite part was the temporary exhibit of Chinese Children’s Clothing. Because of the high mortality rate in the past, babies and young children wore highly decorated clothing, filled with items in nature that had/have symbolism for health and longevity and to ward off sickness and evil spirits. The clothing was all so beautifully made, but I’d like to share this one: I will quote part of the information that was accompanying the display: “Baijiayi, hundred households garment, is a baby garment sewn by putting together scraps of cloth contributed by many households. In the past, after a child was born, the baby’s family would announce the good news to their relatives and neighbors, and scraps of cloth would be collected from close relatives and good friends to be sewn into a ‘hundred households garment,’ so that the blessings from many households would be assembled to ensure the healthy growth of the child.”