Manchu chángshān
Manchu chángshān

In 1636, The Manchus ordered that all Han Chinese adopt their style of dress, chángshān for men, and cheongsam for women. The chángshān is a long, tunic like, shirt that would show the wealth gap between the rich and the poor. The rich often had clothing made of nice silk that almost never got worn down while the poor would have clothes made out of hemp. The chángshān, although popular, is now worn for formal occasions. The most likely place to see a chángshān, is at the Lunar New Year festival, or even in temples during the Lunar New Year. The Manchus had changed the order at the fall of the Ming Dynasty so that only Han Chinese men working in the court, and government officials wear a chángshān. Although commoners were allowed to go back to wearing the hanfu, many poor immigrants kept their chángshān for celebrations. Over time in America, these immigrants and their children started a tradition of wearing the clothing for Lunar New Year, and eventually into weddings and important birthdays. Now, every year, you can see the colorful tunics with dragon or phoenix embroidery, during the festival of the Lunar New Year.

Place(s): China, New York

– Julian L.

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant