Chinese Men And Their “Beat the Heat” Habits.
We’ve been to China a few times now; to cities as well as remote country locations. The thing that we came across here every time during the soaring summer heat are a lot of Chinese men with their shirts off. We’ve never seen such blatantly men who love showing their big bellies anywhere else but here.
Men of all ages can be seen with rolled up T-shirts presenting their often not so six-pack tummies in public (in the subway, train, streets, restaurants, etc.), sometimes fanning themselves with the garment. It’s a habit through all ages, social standings and tummy sizes, yet not gender. So women, don’t take these men as an example, because that would simply be too scandalous.
We’ve had our share of different bellies: round, oval, large, small, hairy, tattooed … and sometimes even 9-month-overdue-pregnancy bellies. Sure, summertime can be very (!) hot in China, but it’s hot in other countries as well and you don’t see anything like it there?!
So, every time we travel to China, we wonder why Chinese men have this natural urge to pull up their shirts whenever they want. We did some research on the topic but nothing really came up… A possible explanation could be that during the cultural revolution, good manners were condemned and people became started acting more like pigs (spitting, munching, slurping and so forth).
Before the Olympic Games in China 2008, the government tried hard to erase the belly-showing (and other bad customs). All mayors of larger cities urged their fellow men to button-up. But these old habits sit deep and their efforts didn’t have a great success.
We’re very positive that on our next visit to China we’ll continue seeing non-sixpack bellies and many other strange customs – but then again, they make a good photo opportunity.