Images of a group of university students wearing hanfu, the traditional Han Chinese dresses, at Changsha’s Taiping Street calling for a boycott of Christmas celebrations have gone viral and sparked heated discussions online.
Each of the students held a sign with calligraphy in traditional Chinese characters, which reads “Boycott Christmas. Chinese people should not celebrate foreign festivals”.
One sign read, “Foreigners have created Apple. What about us?”
Chinese people should celebrate traditional Chinese festivals instead, the students said.
On the microblogging platform Sina Weibo, many commenters mocked the students for wearing cheap costumes rented from photo studios rather than the real traditional hanfu.
“Are these guys trying to sell us something or are they really dumb?” asked Sina Weibo user @i定哥 who works in Shenzhen as a history teacher in a secondary school. “If you want to celebrate traditional Chinese festivals you go ahead, why oppose other people’s celebration of Christmas? This is our freedom and our personal right.”
“If you’re going to boycott foreign festivals, will you also boycott foreign cosmetic products? Foreign movies and drama serials? Foreign-made mobile products and computers? Only stupid people will keep asking for boycotts and advocate a return to a closed nation. Learn from the Tang Dynasty, that was one great nation!” he added.
An editorial in the Global Times observed that for most young people in China, Christmas is a completely secular affair, and a day of revelry devoid of religious significance. Rather than having been changed by foreign festivals such as Christmas, it’s the young people of China that have changed Christmas by celebrating it their own way, it said.
“The popularity of Christmas and other foreign festivals will not pose a threat to traditional Chinese festivals,” the Global Times added. “In fact, we may be able to find some inspiration here to see what we need to do to ensure that traditional Chinese culture lives on.”
By Lucy Liu
[Images via China News]