Friday, March 4, 2011

About HanFu

This post is about a disappeared Chinese Culture- The Han Costume Pronounced as HANFU ). If you are Chinese, you should take it seriously about lost culture and understand the history of yourself. But if you are not Chinese, you can broaden your knowledge about Chinese culture and history.

We often been told older generation or perhaps from movie about ancient Chinese background, that Chinese are people of Han (Han Ren), but what does that mean?

People of Han -HanRen  (漢人), it is from Race of Han (漢族), HanRen is also known as Chinese now a day.

A Chinese Proverb: 
lǐ yí zhī dà gù chēng xià ,fú zhāng zhī měi wéi zhī huá 
Etiquette of Chinese, named as Xia
Cloth of Chinese, named as Hua (Another name of Hanfu)

Han is original name of race of Chinese. As we inherit the culture of Han, we also known as Race of HuaXia (combined from the proverb above), and Chinese people also known as HuaXiaRen. Carrying thousand years of blood and tears, nowadays Chinese been commonly known as HuaRen (华人).

There are 56 races in China, but not all of us in China are Han. Han is the biggest race in China.

Chinese (HanRen) is one the race in China, although they moved out to another country, the thing changed is only the nationality, the name of race is still the same - Chinese, ancient as HanRen.

How to know weather yourself is Race of Han? If you surname is from The book of Hundred Chinese Surname - BaiJiaXing (《百家姓》), mean that you are generation of HanRen.  Such as Tan, Ong Wong, Ng, Goh ... all the common surname is actually surname of Chinese.

 The book of Hundred Chinese Surname 百家姓:

Chinese Surname in English Word 中文姓氏羅馬字標注:

It is a group photo of 56 races in China, The circle one is represent Chinese, why he wear western cloth - T shirt?

What is the cloth that represent Chinese Race? HanFu is the Chinese Race for about 5000 years history, why and how the Chinese cloth culture disappear?

The culture of Chinese cloth - HanFu is disappear during the Ching Dynasty ,the last emperor Dynasty in China which the Emperor is not race of Han, but the Manchuria (滿洲人), the government scare race of Han rebel, instead of killing, they try to remove the culture of the Race of Han, Order of Shave Hair Changed Cloth - tī fà yì fú  (剔髮易服令). They understand that the race that without the culture is not a complete race, they forced all Chinese to shave their (1)hair and change all their cloth to cloth of Manchuria, kill all who not obey the rules.

(1) Hair - Ancient Chinese did not shave their hair after they reach mature age, they treat hair as a part of their body which given by their parent, and take good care of them in the life time.

About 300 years pass by, the culture is almost disappear completely, not all family pass down the culture disappear message in their next generation, so Chinese now a day do not know what is the Chinese cloth which represent their own race, that is a traditional cloth but not a folk /ancient costume.  We still can see many ancient movie showing a actress wearing HanFu.

Actually there are many Chinese  have their early own perception of HanFu, cloth of their own race, the culture of HanFu is did not same with culture of our ancestors who several generation away from us, additional Chinese now a day did not practice the own culture, most of them also follow western culture, modern fashion, perhaps no-culture-based, so explanation of losing culture of Hanfu spend time.

It is need patient to listen the whole story, for sure there are some Chinese who did not the story will laugh at you, perhaps you need to be a bit rebel to accept back the culture of HanFu.

World is like a Class room, Race is like student, Culture is a student's result, Society is a teacher.

Every student have their own result, own strengths and weakness, many year ago, Chinese was one of the top in the class room, but family of Chinese had some problem, Chinese didn't come for class for the hundred years, result failed.

At the same time, other student remain go for the class, the result remain, now the Chinese come back in the classroom, seeing other student have a good result, but forgot they are supposed to hardworking to workout their result, and now Chinese keep on copy result of other, how is the feeling of teacher?

As a Chinese, do you feel you should workout to get back the good result or just want to copy?

For sure, The Chinese who know how is the history of culture disappear won't blame the one who didn't know, as Chinese who know the history, it is responsibility to let other Chinese know, let me explain to all of you. 

What is HanFu
Tradisional Cloth of Chinese, from the history book, HanFu is created by Princess LuoZu嫘祖 )of (2)HuangDi (黃帝), she using sericulture and using bond wire to make cloth.  Chinese wearing the HanFu for thousand years, although the Dynasty and year goes by, the little changes in HanFu is unaviodable, but the main concept of HanFu is still there.

(2) HuangDi (黃帝),The first emperor of Ancient China.

Skrit of Female : RuQun ( 襦裙)

Straight Garmet for Male

Curve Garment for male or female

Actually Hanfu have a lots of fashions, the example shown above is only the common one.

History of ancient Emperor 三皇五帝:

Why now a days do not have any Chinese wearing HanFu? is it this cloth is for Monk and Taoist priest? HanFu is ancient constume?

Chinese was wearing hanfu for several thousand of years, until Ching Dynasty (清朝), the last emperor dynasty in China which the Emperor is not race of Han, but the Manchuria (滿洲人), the government scare race of Han rebel, instead of killing, they try to remove the culture of the Race of Han, Order of Shave Hair Changed Cloth - tī fà yì fú  (剔髮易服令). They understand that the race that without the culture is not a complete race, they forced all Chinese to shave their hair and change all their cloth to cloth of Manchuria, kill all who not obey the rules.

Force Command for Ching Dynasty: (toward Man only) 
Keep hair then leave head, keep head safe then remove hair 

liú fà bù liú tóu ,liú tóu bù liú fà 

During that period, there are a lots of Chinese who stand on their ground, who love their culture had been killing, army of Ching kill all of them (several million of Chinese sacrificed).  The Monk and Taoist priest can be avoid from this command, there are many Chinese who wan to protect the culture and anti-Ching choose to become Monk or Taoist priest.  Hundreds years pass, the one holding strong on the culture die and killed, the culture disappear is not only cloth and keeping hair, but the Etiquette of Chinese also disappeared.  The HanFu slowly named as a Ancient Costume.

[ Documentary :Video clip is in Chinese] 

Order of Shave Hair Changed Cloth - tī fà yì fú  (剔髮易服令) 

[ Documentary in Cantonese ] History of Disappear of HanFu 漢服消亡史 

Today, we only can see Chinese Monk or Taoist priest wearing the HanFu everyday, so it is common that people misunderstand Hanfu is only for Monk or Taoist priest.

Why Cloth of Chinese is not QiBao and MaGua?
QiBao and MaGua is tradisional cloth of race of Manchuria (滿洲人), once upon the time, Chinese was forced to cloth them.  Now QiBao and MaGua already been imporved, but still, that is not tradisional cloth for Chinese.

ModernQiBao and MaGua

Korea Cloth? Japanese Cloth? Kimono?
HanFu have about 5000 years of history in China.  Japan and Korea near to China, so the culture is flow in and out making the their cloth have some similar character, but it is total a  different cloths.

HanFu (Male)
HanFu (Female)

Korean Cloth (Male)

Korean Cloth (Female)

Japanese Cloth (Male)
 Japanese Cloth (Female)

How is HanFu name come from 漢服名稱的由來: 

For years the world is following western culture, there are a lots of thing had been westernize, following western culture will sometimes giving people feel that is a fashion, modern, Trends.  But the own Culture is treated as ancient, going backward, with the different of religion, the Chinese who continue practice the Chinese Culture also become lesser.  So there is some psychological barriers in their mind of most for the Chinese generations.

Why want to wear HanFu?
HanFu is original Cloth/costume of Chinese, if Chinese didn't wear it, who else? if the Chinese didn't speak Chinese, who else?

In the workplace have a certain requirement of the staff's cloth, Hanfu may cause unconvinced to the colorful modern lifestyle, but wearing Hanfu during the Chinese Traditional festival, prayer... is not supposed is a weird things, such as Chinese New year, Pray to Ancestors- QingMing (清明), Mooncake festival - ZhongQiu (中秋).  

Although HanFu does not have same status (in the eyes of most people) as the western cloth formal coat, but as a Chinese wearing Chinese costume is a normal thing, a natural, that is just like Indian wearing Indian costume, and Malay wearing Malay costume.  

Did Indian laugh or criticize  at the Indian when saw they wearing their costume during wedding?

Did you even heard Malay laugh or criticize another Malay teacher who wearing Baju Kurung in the school?

I think it is only the one who not understand the own culture feel it weird, keep on “blaming” and laugh at the one who wear their own costume.

Nobody wearing HanFu, no shop sell it also.
Culture of HanFu was disappear for about 300 years, now is in the stage of revivification, there is too less people know its history, for sure less people wear it, and less trailor know know how to make HanFu and sell it also.  HanFu shop also available at China, and Hong Kong,Taiwan have some dealer.  If this is too far, you can order it online.

Wearing HanFu is hot?

In the part, Chinese wearing HanFu along the years, different season have different set of costume, during winter(cold), Chinese wear several set HanFu which is thick cotton together, during summer(hot), Chinese wear less set of cloth, one set inside to absorb sweat, one outside is thin and light cotton.  Is it ancient Chinese did not wear cloth during summer? Temperature during summer is far more hotter as compare to the tropical country.  Different of environment will be have different coth with suitable cotton for it.  

HanFu is created thousand years ago by our ancestor, cloth is to cover our body which do not have long fur, animal such as dog and cat (got fur) can survive without any cloth during the cold night, can human without cloth survive at a cold night?

Wear HanFu causing inconvenience?
HanFu have different type of cotton for different season, it is also have different design for different situation.

HanFu can be categories to three main set: 
Formal, LiFu
Casual(Normal), ChangFu
Short(Working). BianFu

HanFu Marriage Suit 漢服婚禮服:
LiFu - Formal costume is very fine cotton, color glisten, the collar and sleeve (袪/袖子) have very shiny side, sleeve of a robe(袪/袖子) is the largest and longest among three type of Hanfu, the skirts behind also longest;

HanFu Casual Costume 漢服常服:
ChangFu - Casual costume normally in simple and plain color, sleeve (袪/袖子) is large(but smaller than formal costume) and long (until can cover palm), the front and behind bottom skirts is up to foot line;

HanFu DuanTa 漢服便服短打:
BianFu - Short or working costume, also named as DuanTa, color of the costume even plain and simple, the length of sleeve (袪/袖子) is just right until the arm (same is long sleeve of west formal), the skirt is the shortest.

Wear HanFu is actually applying etiquette - Li () of Chinese, from how to handle the things from others, how to walk, stand, sit, Everything need to done carefully - Jing ().  Doing thing carefully is a very well practice, Human who have their focus every moment is not a bad thing as well.

3 main fashions of HanFu :


Wearing HanFu is for attract attention?
Reason of this question being asked is because there is too less Chinese wearing HanFu. Actually wearing HanFu and using Chinese to speaking writing is a same type of things, is it speaking in Chinese is to attract attention? During Chinese traditional festival wear HanFu is actually not a weird thing, such as wedding, new year.  If Chinese not wearing Chinese costume, who else? For who know how to speak and write in Chinese did not using Chinese, who else?

HanFu is now under the revivification stage, for sure it come out with a lots of question and laugh, perhaps criticize, but I believe when there are more and more people know about HanFu and wear it HanFu sure can being accept widely.  Perhaps one day Chinese language disappear, as a Chinese, I feel I have a responsibility to do the job of revivification.

Although English, western culture is quite important in our lifestyle now, but there is no point to giving up our own culture, The race without a culture is not a complete race, Chinese is keep copy other culture, is like conquer the mindset instead of conquer the country, hope that being one of the Chinese generation, we should wake up, unite to preserve our own good culture, once upon the time, Rank of intelligent of Chinese was rank after Top intelligent people Jews.

Revivification is not only as simple as the costume, actually the culture of etiquette (五常八德) is far more important.

Facebook Group - Revivification of HanFu in Malaysia:
Join  the group to know more about HanFu, Culture of Chinese.

 Revivification of HanFu in Malaysia in TV

The Knowledge is share here is collect from book, internet article, and get from the friends who know well about Chinese culture.  If you found something wrong about this post, please kindly inform me to edit it.  Thank.
Apprectiate it!

Thank viewing! 
by Gold Dragon 

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