Homestay Cultural Activity – Traditional dress and dance

Trying on traditional Chinese outfits

Traditional Chinese outfits vary significantly between the different ethnic groups and regions in China – making the study of Chinese dress a fascinating subject, with such diversity across the country.

Our EduCare au pairs learnt about the traditional dress of the Han ethnic group, the majority group in most regions of China. These outfits, known as Hanfu (汉服), have been worn since the Yellow Emperor (Qin Shihuang, famous for the terracotta army in Xi’an) and were particularly popular during the Qing dynasty, when good dress was considered a sign of cultural literacy, spiritual outlook and the development of civilisation. 

Hanfu come in a variety of colours and patterns, but share some common features.

In particular, both men and women wear long skirts, while upper clothes have particularly distinguishable deep sleeves and a collar crossing left to right, all held together by colourful sashes.

Posing for photos

Having chosen suitable outfits and learnt how to fasten the garments, the au pairs enjoyed a fun photoshoot with professional photographers in front of various palace scenes.

Such photoshoots are very popular in modern China, particularly by young couples before they get married or to celebrate key milestones in their child’s life. 

Au pairs enjoyed a variety of poses, combining their outfits with traditional Chinese fans to add extra colour to the photos. 

Chinese Etiquette

Traditionally, etiquette was very important in Chinese culture – and still extends to this day with the custom of respecting elders and family. However, in the past etiquette was followed and signified more formally.

The au pairs learnt some of the traditions of Chinese etiquette, including how to bow respectfully to different individuals.

In their bright costumes they perfectly resembled Qing noblewomen visiting the emperor!

Traditional dance

Having dressed the part and learnt how to address an imperial audience, the au pairs learnt a traditional dance routine. 

They dedicated themselves to practicing the complicated sequence of moves, poses and transitions, ending the day by filming their very own video to share with family and friends!

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