Hanfu finds ideal setting in East-meets-West hub

By Atlas Shao | HK EDITION | Updated: 2024-05-24 14:52
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Traditional Chinese garments are gaining wide appeal in Hong Kong, winning recognition in the global metropolis. Atlas Shao reports from Hong Kong.

Li Na, vice-chairwoman of the Chinese Culture and Hong Kong Hanfu Association, dons a hanfu dress from the Western Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 24). [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A birthday surprise isn't easy to come by for 90-year-old Wong, having lived through the length and breadth of human experience, but dressing up in traditional Chinese hanfu this year came as a welcome treat for her.

For a group birthday party this year, Wong and her friends decided to dress up in the ancient Chinese attire, put on elegant makeup and get their photos taken.

It's remarkable what a bit of dress-up can do to brighten up a party, with almost all guests at pains to say they would like to do it again with their grandchildren and other friends and relatives.

Li Na, vice-chairwoman of the Chinese Culture and Hong Kong Hanfu Association, one of the event's organizers, sees such a response as typical.

She told China Daily that hanfu is winning an increasing following in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region among people of different ages and her association is growing by the day.

"At first, we only had a dozen or so pieces of hanfu, and our members would just need to keep them at home and take them out when needed. Now, we have over 100 pieces and need to rent a warehouse to store them," she says.

For Li, joining the association more than three years ago has changed her life.

After finishing her day job as an office worker, Li, driven by a passion for ancient Chinese history and culture, found herself committed to promoting and organizing hanfu-related activities.

Promoting hanfu has become easier than before. With growing exposure on social media platforms, more and more people are interested and willing to learn about it, she says. The association constantly receives inquiries about events and invitations to collaborate from different sectors.

Interest has gone up through a variety of different interactive events, such as trying on hanfu and making hanfu accessories, which are held by the association for about three times a month.

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