We all know the importance of knowing who you are, where you come from, how you feel and what are your values in life. That little kick of power we get when we put on a piece of clothing, the same piece that has been in your family, worn by our ancestors, representing our past. Taking pride in what our ancestors achieved, and realizing whose blood runs through our veins, is not a hard step, but is a big one. We’re here to help you.
Traditional Chinese Clothing
As many countries, Chine also feels that the tradition attire is an important part of country’s history and culture. The most recognizable feature of Chinese traditional clothing is wrapping the right lapel over the left one, the cross-collar, the sash, and a long gown. Today, the Chinese switched to more modern clothes, wearing the traditional clothes only on special occasions, but minorities still wear the traditional clothing in everyday lives.
Han Fu was attire worn by the Hans (‘Fu’ means clothes). It’s represented as a long gown with the usual cross-collar, the right over the left lapel wrapping with wide, loose sleeves, and the sash doesn’t have any buttons.
Cheongsam is a perfect mix of western patterns, designed so it accentuates the beauty of women wearing it. This means it has the traditional Chinese colors, but is tailored in western style. It’s a remarkable dress with a straight collar and coiled buttons down the front.
Traditional Japanese Clothing
This nation enjoys and takes pride in their past. Here are some types of clothing still worn today.
Kimono was once worn for daily activities, but nowadays it evolved to a more formal wear. Over your kimono you should wear a hakama- similar to wide pants, or a skirt. In the past, hakama was only worn by men, but today women wear it too.
Yukata is an informal, colorful, summer robe worn by women at cherry blossom viewing parties, or festivals. This is not a kimono, but it feels as one.
Okobo is a type of sandal with a high platform. It’s nothing more than a shaped block of wood with straps. They are usually left with no color, just the natural wood.
Traditional Indian Clothing
Indian wear varies depending on region, climate, religion and ethnicity. We will break it down to the most common.
Sari is a long and colorful unstitched strip of cloth, that is draped over the body. There are many technics for doing so. They can have many colors, and embellishments. Saris are even used for weddings, but in pink or red color- as the tradition says.
Dhoti is a long strip of white cotton, worn by men, usually in villages. There is a belt or an ornament that helps hold it in place. Men also wear mundu- a long piece of fabric, like a sheet wrapped around their bodies, without a belt. Over dhoti and mundu men usually wear shirts.
Traditional Korean Clothing
Traditional clothing in Korea is called hanbok.
Women and men wear a similar top, called jeogori– a blouse with long sleeves, with men’s version being longer and stretching down to the waist. Women wear a skirt- chima, while men wear paji- baggy pants.
The upper classes wear more colors, brighter colors, while commoners wear white, with an exception for weddings. Women complete their outfit with jewelry, headdresses or hair pins.
Traditional Israeli Clothing
The Jewish people in Israel keep true to their roots. Little has changed.
Spodik is a full fur hat, worn by met, similar to shtreimel. The difference between these two is the size and height.
Bekishe is a coat- long and made from black silk. It is usually worn on Shabbat (day of rest and seventh day of the week).
Tichel is a head scarf worn by Orthodox Jewish women. These can be plain, with one color, or full of elaborate designs, colors and fabric.
Tzniut in Hebrew means modesty, which is rigorously practiced by Orthodox Judaism. Men wear long pants usually of black color, with often white long-sleeve shirts, while women wear blouses with long sleeves and long dresses, usually ankle length. The colors are sedate and subtle.
Traditional Vietnamese Clothing
Simple, elegant and graceful is the Vietnamese express themselves.
Non la is a conical hat worn by peasants. It is often modified and decorated. The origin of this conical hat is a beautiful tail of maternal love and the rice growing typical in Vietnam. The shape and size evolved greatly. At first, these cats were made for wealthy women and powerful people.
Ao Dai is a graceful dress, flattering to any figure. They are usually in bright and vibrant colors- purple, green or blue. Ao dai is made individually, for each customer separately so they look perfect in it. There is no pain in this beauty, not only do you look amazing, you feel great and comfortable. It’s usually made from silk or synthetic. The color of the dress tells as the age and the status of the person wearing it.
Ao Yem is older, but very similar to ao dai. Ao yem has a square piece of cloth with one corner cut away to fit under the women’s throat. This piece of cloth is fixated with a thin string going across the chest and stomach.
The Asian culture is an amazing, vibrant and breathtaking. To experience the grace, the flowing fabric and the national pride, must be one of the few journeys that are worth your time and patience. So take a step into this amazing culture, and bask in the colors of Asia. I guarantee you will appreciate yourself more therefore you will see the world and enjoy the difference.