With China’s all-important gaokao exam starting on Tuesday, a male teacher dressed for his students’ success during a cram class over the weekend.
Footage from the high school classroom in Dandong, Liaoning province shows the teacher writing on the blackboard while dressed in a red and flowery qipao before inviting his students up to cut out a piece of his dress.
The qipao was popularized during the glamour days of Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s.
Nowadays, it’s worn on special occasions including for China’s college entrance examination because the full name of its slits up the sides in Mandarin — qipao kaicha (旗袍开衩) —sounds like the phrase qi kai de sheng (旗开得胜), meaning “success on the first try.”
Typically, the qipaos are worn by the mothers of the gaokao-takers but, in this case, it was a male teacher looking to raise his students’ spirits before they take the exam that will go a long way towards deciding their futures.