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Is Korean fashion similar to Chinese?


ROKetshipExpats living in China notice many ways in which the Middle Kingdom is different from their homeland. However, some of these peculiarities are not merely Chinese and can be witnessed in other Asian countries as well.

One of my Facebook friends (thanks Jeph!) recently showed me cartoon depicting a funny moment in the life of “laowai” living in… Korea! After tracking the source of the picture I eventually landed on the site of its creator Luke Martin, and stuck there for a long time browsing through different cartoons and having lots of laughs.

Looking at them I caught myself thinking that Westerners living in China should often have similar experiences. So, I contacted Luke and asked for permission to post some of his cartoons. Choosing just few wasn’t an easy task – thus I decided to take only those which are related to the topic of Asian fashion. To see the rest – and there are plenty – go to Luke’s site, ROKetship).
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Why Chinese Girls Wear Rubbish Underwear?


Chinese UnderwearThe title of this post is inspired by one blog reader who left comments to the poll that compared Chinese and Western women wearing cheongsam (qipao).

Let me quote that comment:
“Crystal, you should do a post on why Chinese women wear such rubbish underwear. This is an area where most Western women are far ahead.”

To which another reader replied:
“Yeah, I have to agree <…> the choices for lingerie in China are awful.
<…> even in Shanghai, the Victoria’s Secret shop is a joke <…> every time I go back to the US, I make a special shopping trip just for lingerie for my girlfriend. Now she won’t wear anything else. Oh, and, Chinese girls, just a tip–I know you like red, but red underwear doesn’t make you look sophisticated, it makes you look older. Black or another color to go with your skin. Please.”

I wrote down the note to myself to return to this topic later, and this is what I am doing now. However, I am not a fashion critic and will only describe my own experience and some things that I noticed watching my friends. And you are free to make conclusions.
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My Qipao Mission


Guest article by John

After a 35 years career in programming and management, I made a switch and took a TEFL course. My desire was to make a difference and in early 2004 I left England and arrived in China. For five years I've been teaching in Guangxi and then Guangdong. My second year in Liuzhou was particularly rewarding - perhaps I was lucky because I taught 500 girls, all of whom were beautiful, smart and diligent. Or maybe they're all like that in LZ! Many are still my friends today, no longer girls but young women, some married, some mothers, but all still beautiful.

Chinese Girls in QipaoIt was with some trepidation that I first went to teach in China, in 2004. All my information about China had come from old newsreel films. Basically, I was expecting a drab, black-and-white place where people queued to use the local telephone. How wrong was I ?! I entered a vibrant world of happy, busy people.
When the job was offered to me, I was given a list of possible locations, but since I didn’t know anything about any of them, I chose the first, Liuzhou in Guangxi. That was a fortuitous choice. Most of the people were happy to see me, and the girls were beautiful. [In fact, later extensive empirical research showed that Guangxi girls are the most beautiful, and Liuzhou girls the cream of Guangxi. But I digress.]
» Continue reading “My Qipao Mission” »

Shanghai Qipao Salon


Qipao club

About two weeks ago I stumbled upon the article about Shanghai Qipao Salon. This is a club for Shanghainese ladies who gather together to learn the rules of etiquette; take part in cultural events and travel. Distinctive feature of this club is the passion that its members have for beautiful Chinese dress, qipao. Wang Weiyu – founder of this club – kindly agreed to answer some of my questions via e-mail.

How did you come up with the idea of creating Qipao Salon?

In the end of 2006, I was invited by Women’s Federation of Shanghai to make a series of lectures on etiquette. The lectures were provided in different communities and the majority of audience consisted of women between 45 and 65 years old. Objectively speaking many Chinese women in this age group haven’t been educated for appropriate manners and don’t have interest in taking a proper care of themselves. But these are mothers and wives – the core of families – and it is so important to improve their lifestyle. It will undoubtedly have a positive effect on their family life, relationships with parents-in-law and education of children.
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Plastic Surgery in China


Medical mistake

One site specializing in information about plastic surgery addressed the people preparing for job interviews. It gave few tips regarding the writing of resume, then moved to importance of first impression and concluded it with the following passage:

If you’re not completely confident in your appearance, and your figure isn’t what it used to be, plastic surgery or cosmetic enhancement might give you the fresh, youthful edge you need to seal the deal.

As surrealistic as it could sound at first, this message (of going under surgeon’s knife for better employment prospects) resonates well with Chinese audience. In Western countries the number of patients for plastic cosmetic surgery reduced during the economic recession, but in China the trend was quite opposite. And as surveys showed, about 50% of the plastic surgery cases were job-related.
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