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Chinese traditional clothing debuts at Venice Carnival

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-02-21 10:44
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A volunteer wearing Hanfu, an ancient clothing traditionally used to be worn by ethnic-majority Han Chinese, participates in a parade launched at the Piazza San Marco during the Venice Carnival in Venice, Italy, Feb. 17, 2023.[Photo/Confucius Institute at Ca' Foscari University of Venice/Handout via Xinhua]

Chinese traditional clothing made its debut at the Venice Carnival amid deepening cultural exchange between the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou and its sister city Venice.

A total of 16 Chinese and Italian volunteers, wearing Hanfu, an ancient clothing traditionally used to be worn by ethnic-majority Han Chinese, participated in a parade launched at the Piazza San Marco in the lagoon city center.

"This is the first time that Chinese traditional costumes have officially participated in the carnival," said Ma Xiaohui, director of the Chinese side of the Confucius Institute at Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

The clothing, directly transported from the Suzhou Silk Museum, was themed of Han, Tang, Song and Ming dynasties respectively, well displaying Jiangnan culture and world-known Suzhou silk, Ma said.

The show attracted lots of young people from both China and Italy.

"I decided to participate in this initiative as I found it through Instagram," said Irene Di Maio from southern Italy's Sicily. "I thought it could be a way to bring Chinese culture even closer to me."

The 24-year-old, majoring in Chinese in Venice, went to Suzhou to attend a dragon boat festival five years ago. "I really enjoyed the Chinese traditional dragon boat culture, and this time I would like to know more about Hanfu."

"The event was amazing, especially the part from Suzhou, a city I loved very much," said a Serbian tourist, who lived in Suzhou for four years.

"I had visited the Suzhou Silk Museum where I got to know Hanfu," he added, "I wish there would be more activities like this around the world."

"Bringing the traditional silk costumes of Suzhou here is a cultural idea," said Laura Fincato, an honorary citizen of Suzhou.

In addition to the clothing show, visitors can also enjoy a series of Chinese cultural activities, including the performance of Guzheng, a traditional Chinese musical instrument, Hanfu try-ons and calligraphy demonstrations at the Palazzo Santa Sofia, Ma said.

Suzhou, dubbed by the Italian explorer Marco Polo in the 13th century as "the Venice of the East", became a sister city to Venice in 1980, and since then multiple activities of mutual historical and cultural exchange have been carried forward.

The Venice Carnival 2023, themed "Take Your Time for the Original Signs," kicked off in the Italian lagoon city on Feb 4 and will last until Feb 21.

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