Chinese Ethnic Minorities Series, Part I

Since I’m off to Beijing again and can’t post from there, I’ve scheduled this post to keep things fresh… And what better way to keep things fresh than by introducing a whole new series? That’s right, there is no better way… So I’m delighted to present a fresh new segment for CPHNS about ethnic minorities in China.

There are 56 “minorities” to be exact, which happens to be exactly the same amount of cards in a deck (mere coincidence? I think not…) So I purchased a deck of cards in Yunnan that featured a different minority on each card. It was interesting to see how everyone ranked in a deck, but overall it wasn’t about pitting minorities against one another as much as promoting “Chinese nation’s great unity”:

So in Beijing there are 3 main minorities. The first is the Manchu (or Man Zu), who just happen to be the Ace of Spades (fair considering they established a dynasty of the Qing variety). I love the hats!

The Hui Zu are the second largest minority in Beijing and look like fun people. I don’t know what that green stick is doing in her mouth, but they look like a fun couple:

Lastly are the Mongolians (Meng Gu Zu), who may be the best dressed in this set of ethnic minorities… They’ve also got great smiles:

But I don’t like to compare cultures/groups, I think they are all valid… These guys all seem to have their own style, and I hope that it can not only be maintained but re-interpreted and recycled to make it modern and relevant to more people in today’s world.


About chinesepeopledoyoustyle

The emergence of style in China
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9 Responses to Chinese Ethnic Minorities Series, Part I

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  6. Wow, I’ll have to see if I can find myself one of those decks of cards before I leave China… Looking forward to reading what you have to say on the topic. We were able to have a glimpse into a bit of minority life in Guanxi, Yunnan and Xinjiang and I have to say that’s been one of my favorite parts of our trip to China. And every “minority” (feels like a weird term to me…) person that I’ve noticed has got style in droves. So at home in their own skin and rocking their look completely!

    • As I said to Jean, minorities are the best because they help diversify a place… China is dominated by the Han, and it’s boring to always see the same thing. I love running into minorities and seeing their different outfits and perspectives. How was Xinjiang? I think their clothes out there would be PHENOMENAL!

  7. Jean says:

    Ethnic minorities….you are probably too young to remember YSL inspiration from Russia…but this is same same but different….I think the ethnic minorities are the true fashionistas of Asian culture. They are integrating pretty fast here in Thailand so who knows how long it will be before this too is lost, even if they aren’t integrating, they don’t wear their native costume to the “big cities”… I hope some Asian designer incorporates the best of their best. It took me three years to finally track down and purchase a Lisu New Year bag…Hermes eat your heart out.

    • I think the best thing that ethnic minorities bring to a given culture is diversity, which is very, very important for the development of style… Everyone is different and should have a different style, but actually at the end of the day we are all really just the same. Thanks for your comment as always Jean!!

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