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Jasmine Huang, member of CLM, born and raised in the southeast of China, is sharing with you one Chinese woman's point of view regarding western men, Chinese women, online dating and cross cultural relationships. Not an expert, but would be willing to learn and grow with you all.
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Chinese women’s Cheongsam complex    

By Jasmine Huang
5984 Views | 3 Comments | 6/20/2010 12:47:46 PM

When you are browsing the pictures of the female members on CLM, you may see there are many women in beautiful Cheongsams. I love cheongsam also and got one 2 years ago. It fits me well, but every time when I wear it, I just feel it is too sophisticated for me---I am not able to present the beauty of my cheongsam in this age.

The cheongsam, embodying both elegant melancholy and long-vanished glory, often evokes images of beautiful but ill-fated women who like to dress in this attire. These images, like that of an ancient flower blossoming in the depths of time, are deeply etched in the memories of the Chinese people.

The name "cheongsam," meaning simply "long dress," entered the English vocabulary from the dialect of China's Guangdong Province (Cantonese). In other parts of China, however, it is known as "qipao", which has a history behind it.

When the early Manchu rulers came to China proper, they organized certain people, mainly Manchus, into "banners" (qi) and called them "banner people" (qiren), which then became loosely the name of all Manchus. The Manchu women wore normally a one-piece dress which, likewise, came to be called "qipao" or "banner dress." At that time, cheongsams were fitted loosely and were so long that they would reach the insteps. Usually, they were made of silk and the whole dress was embroidered, with broad lace trimmed at the collar, sleeves and edges.

Although the 1911 Revolution toppled the rule of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty, the female dress survived the political change and became popular throughout China. With the influence of Western dress styles, the cheongsam underwent a change. The cuffs grew narrower and were usually trimmed with thin lace. The length of the dress was shortened as well. This new adaptation allowed the beauty of female body to be fully displayed.

In the 1930s, wearing a cheongsam became a fashion among women in the whole of China. Various styles existed during this period. Some were short, some were long, with low, high or even no collars at all.

Starting from the 1940s, cheongsams became closer-fitting and more practical. The 1949 Communist Revolution ended cheongsam and the other fashions in Shanghai. But nowadays in every department stores, you can see the modified cheongsam with various kinds of fabric and designs. The red ones normally are chosen as the wedding gown. Besides the western wedding gown, Chinese brides will normally prepare one red cheongsam to match the brand new red shoes on the wedding party. Cheongsam is good at highlighting slender figures and it’s especially suitable for the Chinese temperament (especially for the ones from the south of China).

The cheongsam's beauty is reflected in the following poem:

Whose young lady is that?
Dressed in the cheongsam of yore?
With the grace of a dragonfly
Dancing on the lake,
She strolls along the bridge before the gate.
The young lady's head is slightly drooped,
Her tenderness is as pure as drops of dew.
Her high-coiled chignon
Looks so pretty and charming;
Her high round collar
Reveals a trace of pride;
Her delicate curves
Are even more alluring;
The cheongsam's high slit
And her unintentional beauty
Reveal her yearning for love.

Is she the one in the Ten-mile Square, the foreigner-leased land in Shanghai, of all the beauties, who attracts attention near and far?
Or is she the sad and solitary one, living in a small southern town?

Whose young lady is that?
Dressed in the cheongsam of yore?
Her graceful figure
Floats across my mind...

A week ago, I took out my cheongsam and hung it on my closet. Among all my clothes, it stands out so brightly with the bold flowers yet as silent as a neighbor girl by its dark forest green. One day I will definitely wear it again, not for anybody, just for myself.

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(Showing 1 to 3 of 3) 1
#2010-06-20 19:52:44 by annabeth @annabeth

hi,i have a white with lake blue flowers qibao,it shape my body very well,haha,let's show our beautity!!

#2010-06-22 04:25:40 by thedragonb1 @thedragonb1

Aaaah, the lovely Qi Pao (Cheongsam)... I asked if my fiance would have one? We have ordered her a more western american white wedding gown but I also told her to buy a new Qi Pao so she could at least wear it for dinner. :) I wonder if she got it? I must ask her tonight!

#2011-03-14 07:52:23 by 123soul @123soul

Chinese culture.Qi Pao (Cheongsam symbolizes sign O f China.elegant and beautiful .it is loved very much as Chinese china over the world

(Showing 1 to 3 of 3) 1
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