Friday, November 21, 2014

Be Green Challenge, Blog #2: Tammy Hsu

The second week of the green challenge went by quickly. Because of school work, I was able to resist the urge to buy anything. But as Thanksgiving gets closer, it is getting harder to resist the urge. Every day, I keep getting advertisements in my mailboxes, and the word “discount” appears everywhere. I have to stop myself from looking at them by deleting emails or tossing mails into trashcan.

In this week’s lecture, we talked about how Hmong people pass their culture and tradition through clothes. They use complicated techniques, such as applique, to retell their stories through textiles. This idea interests me because I want to know if Chinese also do something similar. To do that, I decided to rummage through my closet and found some traditional clothes and accessories (pictures below). One commonality between these three items is that they all have elaborate knots. Based on what I learned from an article in Cultural China, elaborate knot has been around for a long time. Each knot has a meaning that is associated with its image. Elaborate knots continue to play an important role in modern day hanfu because they represent China’s long history.

Even though my traditional clothes are not fancy, they still tell a story. For example, the hanfu (top left) was specially made for my grandparent. My grandparents brought many traditional clothes with them when they moved to the United States. To them, having some traditional clothes was a way to connect to their old culture. Seeing this particular hanfu reminds me of the struggles my grandparents had to go through in order to allow us, the grandchildren, to move to the United States.

Side note: in the Cultural China article, there are details about accessories and other hanfu. The ones shown here may not look entirely traditional, but they are the only ones I have.

Ava L. McCall. “Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts.”
"Clothing and Ornaments." Cultural China. N.p., 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

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