Wednesday, November 04, 2009

China's fashion police ban pyjama wearers

City officials in Shanghai are clamping down on people wearing pyjamas in the streets in the lead up to the World Expo to be held in the city next year. In an article in the Chengdu Business Daily there is outrage expressed over the move, condemning it as a civil rights abuse. "Many Shanghai residents are used to loitering around the streets in their pyjamas. But now the municipal government is making every effort to stop them from doing so, because it would be a "loss of face" for city authorities if a foreigner sees people walking the streets in pajamas during the 2010 World Expo," the paper states.

The wearing of pyjamas is a common sight in China. Public and private space is often blurred in daily life and it is not unusual to see people walking around neighbourhoods dressed in clothing usually worn in the bedroom. To foreigners it is bizarre, but for most Chinese it is nothing unusual. As for losing face, this is probably a rather futile task given the many other peculiarities and bad habits seen in China. Pyjama wearing is probably the least concerning for most westerners. Spitting in the streets, dirty toilets, impoliteness and polluted air is probably more of a concern amongst most foreign visitors.

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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