I don't know if you've noticed, but in recent years, the number of people wearing ancient Chinese traditional clothing (Hanfu) has increased.
There are people walking around the city center in ancient Chinese traditional clothing, people traveling in scenic spots, and even classrooms are full of them.
CNN, Reuters, and other media outlets have reported on this Hanfu craze.
Hanfu, meaning “Han clothing,” is based on the idea of donning costumes worn in bygone eras by China’s Han ethnic group. Some of the most popular styles are from the Ming, Song, and Tang dynasties.
About three-quarters of Hanfu customers are between 16 and 24 years old. Members of this generation often see it as a way to rediscover and engage with their country’s traditional culture.
There are also many styles of Han clothing. Its main elements include belts, intricately designed collars, and more.
The main features of Hanfu include collars, upper garments in the style of a skirt, jade ornaments, and a sash, according to Wen Run, professor of textile design and industrial economics at Donghua University. Materials such as brocade and yarn, along with traditional craftwork, including embroidery, are also hallmarks of the attire.
Chinese Han Clothing Makes A 21st-century Return with A Bang Modern
The CGTN article argues that young people can find the beauty of traditional culture by wearing ancient Chinese traditional clothing.
It has seen a resurgence in recent years, despite some initial public resistance. It's pretty exciting to see young Chinese people building up their self-confidence and developing their individuality to show the world what they love. For more Chinese, this dress code might become a good starting point to further explore the beauty of the country's traditions.
Enthusiasts of ancient Chinese clothing have different ways of expressing their love for it, from writing a book to wearing it in class. Some people write a book, others wear them in class, and the enthusiasts call each other" Tongpao".
· Yang Na is one of those Hanfu enthusiasts who have been dedicated to the revival of the costume for over a decade. As a media professional, she wears Hanfu, talks about it, and has even written a book about it, titled "Hanfu Returns."
· Song Xuan, a student from Harbin, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province said, "Hanfu is my daily outfit. In the summer, I wear it just like this. In the winter, I'll put a warm sweater inside and a down coat outside.
Hanfu enthusiasts refer to themselves online as Tongpao, which literally means wearing the same type of gown as a symbol of comradeship.
The Revival of Ancient Traditional Chinese Clothing
The rise of ancient Chinese traditional clothing culture has also boosted the economy. The data from 2018 shows that the Hanfu market already exceeded 1 billion yuan that year. Some ancient Chinese traditional clothing enthusiasts spend RMB 3,000-5,000 per year on Hanfu.
Interestingly, the ancient Chinese traditional clothing store founded by actress Xu Jiao of the comedy film " Changjiang 7 " generated a store turnover worth RMB 10 million in 2018.
· There were more than 2 million Hanfu enthusiasts in China in 2018, according to a survey by the market consultancy iMedia Research, a year-on-year rise of nearly 73 percent. The total value of the Hanfu industry exceeded 1 billion yuan.
· Deng, who also joined a Hanfu club at her high school, said she spends about 3,000 yuan to 5,000 yuan ($432 to $720) on the attire every year.
· Hanfu company Zhiyuji, founded by actress Xu Jiao in 2016, did over RMB 10 million ($1.4 million) in sales in 2018.
Promotion of Ancient Traditional Chinese Clothing Culture
The revival of ancient Chinese traditional clothing is not only in China but extends beyond national borders. More and more foreigners are becoming addicted to traditional Chinese Hanfu as well.
As the main organizer of the association, Li Siting, president of the Hunan Hanfu Culture Promotion Association, often communicates with her counterparts from different places. Last November, she attended the 7th Chinese ritual and music conference in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, which was the first time she met overseas Chinese culture lovers from Japan, France, Argentina, and other places.
There is another cultural figure associated with Chinese clothing. He is the lyricist Fang Wenshan. He spearheaded the Xitang Hanfu Culture Week held in the ancient town of Xitang, Zhejiang Province.
“Hanfu is the perfect bridge for young people to connect with Chinese culture and identity,” said Fang Wenshan, a lyricist who started the Hanfu Culture Week in Xitang seven years ago.
Controversy Related to the Ancient Traditional Chinese Clothing Craze
The craze for ancient Chinese traditional clothing is not without controversy. One of them is whether it should be called Hanfu or Huafu, which is said to better encompass " traditional Chinese clothing".
However, as mentioned in the CGTN article, the rise of Hanfu, despite its controversy, does add a touch of tradition to the modern street.
After 16 years of development from the so-called "fantastical dress" to daily attire, Hanfu has been through quite the change in status. Whatever the controversies behind the new trend, some traditional beauty on modern streets will indeed add a bit of vitality and diversity to urban life.
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On the matter of calling it 汉服 or 华服, why not both? At least where I am, education has referred to Chinese/Mandarin as 汉语 and 华语 interchangeably