Chinese tradition, ceremony,culture


This is the kind of things I love seeing; Chinese culture, language, philosophy, history, art, fashion, literature, myths, legends, stories, and the list goes on and on, presented globally in comfortable, understandable, relatable, and elegant manners.

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Beijing (CNN)Chinese couturier Ma Ke is a media-shy fashion-world maverick.

She's built two of China's most influential designer brands and dresses the country's first lady, Peng Liyuan -- but doesn't consider herself a designer.

Preferring a reclusive life in Zhuhai, a city on China's southern coast that's a world away from the country's fashion hubs in Shanghai and Beijing, Ma never reads fashion magazines, shuns parties and rarely gives interviews.

For this exclusive, CNN wasn't allowed to take photos at the opening of her new exhibition, nor did she want to supply a head shot. "I don't belong in fashion circles," she says.

First lady of fashion

China's first lady Peng Liyuan in outfits designed by Ma Ke
Ma may shun media attention, but her fashion success speaks volumes in itself.
Hugely influential in China's fashion world for her brands Wuyong and Exception de Mixmind, the designer became a household name when China's first lady wore one of her designs on her first official overseas trip in 2013.

The double-breasted dark navy trench coat she chose, paired with a light turquoise silk scarf, set Chinese social media alight. Peng's unfussy, structured and elegant looks also received rave reviews abroad --
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list that year.

To many, Peng's strong look broke the mold of the usually subdued fashion choices made by China's first ladies of the past.

"It fits her well, as she is a soldier and she has a kind of assertiveness and toughness," Ma tells CNN of the now-famous trench coat, the first time she's confirmed which outfits she's designed for Peng.
Ma has known China's first lady since 2002, and through her designs, she says she wants to convey the inner confidence of modern Chinese women.

"You know sometimes clothing can come across aggressive when it's too revealing and eye-catching and it's the opposite of traditional Chinese aesthetics," she says. "Women don't need to use clothing as a weapon if they're confident in their character and cultivation."

It's ensured Peng, who was a famous folk singer before becoming first lady, is compared to fashion icons like Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama, both of whom have helped emerging designers become stars. "My philosophy for the first lady's designs is elegance, subtlety and demureness," Ma adds.

Chinese style isn't what you think
It's a philosophy that Ma has drawn from her deep appreciation of traditional Chinese design.
While many regard the form-fitting cheongsam or qipao as epitomizing Chinese style, Ma, who reads Chinese classics extensively, says the opposite is true.

Cheongsam story – From its turn as a 1920s feminist statement to modern incarnations, the Hong Kong Museum of History's "
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" celebrates the iconic dress. This contemporary version (not featured in the exhibit) is from Hong Kong fashion brand Shanghai Tang.

"In Western values, women are beautiful if they are sexy. Chinese design is more concealing." "Like the traditional Chinese ink painting, the blank space between fabric and skin is where the beauty resides," she says.

Ma also draws on tradition for her couture designs for her Wuyong brand, employing techniques such as loom weaving, hand-sewing and natural coloring.

Her unusual textures, architectural shapes and earthy colors led to her becoming the first Chinese designer to be invited by one of high fashion's most respected bodies,
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, to show at Paris Haute Couture week in 2008.

It's a theme she's also exploring further with her latest venture, an exhibition she has curated and installed in her Beijing Wuyong showroom called "In search of the clothes with the best stories."

Ma says she wants to highlight traditional Chinese design with her exhibition, and support the people who produce handcrafted products in China's rural areas. "I went to the rural areas many times to study traditional clothes making techniques and I was impressed. I decided to help rejuvenate the traditional craftsmanship," she says. "Clothes crafted with care and love last longer," she adds. "If we don't seize the time, we'll lose lots of previous cultural heritage."

"In search of the clothes with the best stories" runs from October 29, 2016 to April 15, 2017 at Wuyong Space, 77 Meishuguan Back St, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China.


"In Western values, women are beautiful if they are sexy. Chinese design is more concealing." "Like the traditional Chinese ink painting, the blank space between fabric and skin is where the beauty resides," she says.
At the risk of sounding like I'm objectifying women, I think the above noted difference is due to physiological differences between caucasian and east asian women.

Compared to asian women, caucasian women have more generous curves. Therefore, it makes sense for them to wear outfits that display those assets.

On the other hand, asian women have more delicate and aesthetically pleasing facial features, therefore their clothes are designed to accentuate their beauty, and focuses less on their body shape.


What's appealing is not only cultural. It's also intra cultural. When you see those fashion shows and the models walk down the runway for a designer, personally I see over 90% of the clothes as unappealing. Am I saying the designers are horrible? No. A lot of designers approach clothes as a form of art and that appeals to that crowd just like in art some wonder how that's considered art while others think it as genius. Guys tend to look at women's clothes in a sexual context. A lot of men don't realize women dress for women not for men most of the time and not in a sexual context. What I find odd are those that are in the fashion industry always calling this or that "sexy" when usually it's not sexy to a straight man. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker has been seen as a fashion queen in those circles but according to straight men is the number one ugliest female celebrity. Who are the ones that control the fashion industry? Women and gay men. Is that why a lot of models are shapeless and anorexic with a boyish look?

We had somewhat of a discussion long ago in this forum on this subject regarding beauty pageants. China would always send women they thought were beautiful to international pageants and they would stand out not like the rest. When you go to Asian centered internet forums, you'll always comes across beautiful women threads. Asian tastes are not Western tastes. Asians like petite and thin shapes while Westerners like statuesque shapes. It's only when countries like Japan sent Western type women is when they won Miss Universe and China sent one to win Miss World is when they got results.


It would be interesting to see historical Chinese fashion, such as the Hanfu, go into mainstream again. We are seeing a lot of interest from young people in those kinds of clothes, even though right now they're restricted to photo sessions.


I found this interesting article on Tianya:

It's a farewell post from a Muslim Hui girl posted on
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, which, incidentally, is currently shut down for extremist content.

In the post, she expresses frustration with her fellow muslims on, who, in her view, are more interested in talking about the correct way to pray or to wear the veil, than to talk about the future of Islam.

She believes that Islam is currently going through a phase much like China went through in the last century, one of a glorious past but a despondent present. She believes that there is much that the Islamic civilization can learn from the Chinese civilization.

For her view, she was ostracized and banned from the site, so she posted this for her last word.

Her post is an instructive view into the lives and beliefs of modern Hui Chinese, and I found it a fascinating read.


This is a google translation for our non-Chinese reading forumites:
This is my last message in the Mu network, be a farewell! Is also a summary of my point of view.
I am a Muslim Muslim girl, has been my life happy, calm. Because I have a love of my family, I am very happy. From the beginning of my birth, Islam has been with me, I love Allah, as he is a father. I have an enlightened parents, so I can have a good environment to study, I have a kindly grandmother to a Muslim woman's unique gentle words and deeds taught me how to teach me how to be a qualified Muslim children. I began to face this society, the father will he has been looking, as the treasures of the Koran to me, he said: You are a Muslim child, to remember his identity, you have to face the society, and this The Qur'an will give you all the answers. I took the Koran to go to college. And strive to learn the teachings of knowledge and university courses. We have a mosque near the university, the young imam of my faith has a great influence, I often discuss with him. I finished college, work, and then graduate, I have always put this precious Qur'an in the side.
Because of work, I usually have little time to surf the Internet, because the recent research work, I have been collecting information online, see the literature, writing papers. So I recently met in the Mu network. I am very happy to meet so many Muslim and non-Muslim friends here, I know who is double love, who is the baby, who is Dawa, of course, there are many non-Muslim friends, please forgive me one by one can not say hello .
I like to study current affairs, so I have been wandering in the current affairs of the plate, I sometimes go to Mu Qing, but there are old school, very boring. Here, I am a healthy, happy, straightforward, progressive knowledge of the face of Muslim women in front of everyone! For the present and future of Islam, I have been thinking. What makes the glorious Islamic civilization in modern times far beyond the Western civilization, the future of Islam is what? I found that the status quo of Islam and China in the modern problems encountered almost exactly the same, has also been brilliant, has also been beyond the Western civilization, slavery. I think there are a lot of people in the Islamic world to consider this issue, but have not found a really make the Islamic civilization revival of the road. This is very similar to the history of China, has also been confused, have also tried a variety of roads. The Chinese civilization is as great as the Islamic civilization. The Chinese are the most resilient people in the world. It is the openness, inclusion, and integration of various cultures and attempts to finally find the right way to revive Chinese civilization. . On the road to recovery, the Chinese civilization boldly tried various roads, including almost all the development modes of the world so far, from monarchy to constitutional monarchy to democracy to warlord dictatorship to socialism and even Today's national capitalist road, even today, the Chinese are still exploring, still in reform, trying to embark on a more democratic road. In the Chinese people up and down the search this time, suffered various setbacks, or even nearly subjugation. However, fortunately, the Chinese people finally found a road for their own development, even if it is not perfect, can continue to move forward is not? China from a decline to thousands of foreigners will be able to drive the emperor from the capital of the country, the development of a world attention to the powerful country. Therefore, I put forward the idea of Islamization of China, is to learn from China, to learn Chinese history. Prophet once said that knowledge even in China, but also to learn. This sentence I think somewhere there is a profound meaning, perhaps the Prophet in 1000 years ago has foreseen the difficulties faced by Islam today, so it was out of this sentence. By no means coincidence!
As a woman of knowledge, I have worshiped two people, one is Chairman Mao, one is the Chairman Xiaoping. Chairman Mao liberated Chinese women, and Deng Xiaoping liberated China's thinking. It is these two great men that have led China to the present path of revival. This is our two most needed progress in Islam, I hope the Islamic civilization can begin to carry out these two liberation, to the road of revival. Many of my Muslim friends hold the same view as I do. But to the Mu network, I became a heresy. At the same time found that Muslims here, there is no ideological emancipation of any signs. They are keen to discuss what is authentic, how worship is devout, three lift or five lift, scarf of ten thousand kinds of law, prayer toes placed, put the number of angles count good, even the black robe masked this Desert women dress as a pious performance. How to get the love of Allah, and even medieval Islamic law to restrain people's lives, binding women. Cautious, afraid to have a trace of the transcendence, for fear of anger Allah, future generations can not enter the paradise, and even to focus only on their own work, without considering the contribution to society, do not think about the future of Islamic civilization. For some of their actions that violate their beliefs, furious, self-destructive image. And pay no attention to how the integration of this society in China, no scruples and other religious people live in harmony.
Therefore, I criticize and reflect on all kinds of bad phenomena in the Muslim society, which hinder the development of Islam. In the case of Islamic law, I have to show that Islamic civilization needs to keep pace with the times. I do not pay attention to study, A good mosque in the mosque by the phenomenon of learning to explain the need for children to learn more about science and cultural knowledge in order to better integrate into the future future of society, building our Muslim world; I am keen to wear feminine clothes to represent the pilgrimage to illustrate the phenomenon of women's liberation The importance and respect of each other is mutual in order to better get along with others and society; I have to imitate the snow and the Chinese low-level mosque rental shops were cheated by the owner of the example of alcohol to illustrate the imams of the mosque to improve their own Knowledge level, better play the role of leader. You think I think under the snow and imams for a word and really why? My one topic, there are profound meaning, are made for the status of Islam.
However, these deep meaning, not to any Muslim vigilance and reflection, but indulge in Islam is perfect in this deep anesthesia among me as heresy, and even fired me out of the Muslim team. Islam in history is indeed progress, when absolutely not perfect (I think this sentence certainly can get a lot of abuse), Chinese civilization in history in no way inferior to the Islamic civilization, he can not be called the perfect , For thousands of years has been tolerant attitude, to accept a large number of foreign civilization, and from top to bottom search for their own development path, we Islam civilization on what basis to say that he is perfect? Do not need the slightest change? Is the decline of Islamic civilization, more and more backward in this world, not enough to alert our Muslim compatriots Why?
However, our Muslim compatriots do not think about the future of Islam, but only to later generations to heaven! Even this version of the moderator regarded me as a thorn in the thorn in the flesh, with a "unwarranted" charges closed all my ID. I feel very tired, very tired, heart grief feelings you can understand it? I want to go, I hope you can remember me, there is a network called "Dema Xiasi" little girl, had a war a bunch of old school, which is enough. I gently walked, do not take a cloud. Maybe I've never been better. I will not have so much emotion. In fact, I want to tell you that the reality of the world is not the case, after 80 of the Muslims after 90 will not be the case. I'm gone, are you happy?


Junior Member
Two factors influence Culture: (1) Hereditary - i.e. passed on from generations to generations & (2) Environment - present happenings i.e. good (as in technology advancements, honest & good media teachings/films etc), & the bad (i.e. pornos, evil influences as portrayed in several films, & radical/terrorist social media/propaganda etc). Governments & parents should ensure children & young adults are not influenced by the bad environmental factors. China has the oldest culture in the world, & the excellent teachings by the Chinese sages like Confucius, Lao Tzu etc. are great influencing factors to not only the Chinese but to most cultured people everywhere.


Interesting to see a piece on the Jiayuguan part of the Great Wall:

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I visited the place in 2008. No tourists back then, the fortress was brand new and indeed felt like a film set. I still have a picture of me shooting a bow from the rampart.

While the new fort itself didn't have much of a historical feeling, standing on the ramparts and looking at the landscape beyond was another matter entirely. The fabled Qilian mountains stretched across the horizon, and below was a stretch of earthen ramp that was all that remained of the original wall. You could literally feel the millenia imprinted on the land.