Watch These Chinese Dancing Grannies Get Their Groove On

 

It seems like this year, people in China are breaking a sweat everywhere, dancing the summer days away. Last week, we brought you a video of a Chinese boy dancing his way into a pair of pants without using his hands. Not to be out-shined on social media, Chinese grannies have been hitting the streets all over the nation, grooving to the beat of Chinese pop songs.

Much to their neighbors dismay, the early birds begin their routine at the crack of dawn. There has been quite the backlash against the grannies, however, as many young people feel that the grannies are disrupting their peaceful, tranquil mornings.

According to NBC News, some of the neighbors have been not so subtle about their feelings towards the dancing granny movement; there have been reported cases of the neighbors throwing water-bombs, and in one case, a large amount of poop at the grannies.

Though the grannies are aware of the young people’s complaints, they continue to wave their hands in the air, like they just don’t care.

 

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The dancing grannies do not seem to see a problem with their dancing — which has now been nicknamed 广场舞, roughly translating to dancing in a square. They have even spoken up over the backlash. One particular granny told China Youth Daily,”We’ll keep the noise down, but people should be up and going to work by 8am…Why can’t young people just get up earlier?”

All over China, there is now an estimated number of one hundred million public dancers, and the numbers are continuing to grow.

Watch them in action below:

 


Chinese Malls, Now Adding The Weirdest Activities To Your Shopping Experience

 

Personally for me, going shopping in a mall in itself — especially one in the United States — is somewhat of an experience. Between all the shameless people-watching (admit it, you do it, too), the seductive lure of Auntie Anne’s soft pretzels, and of course, the 300 something stores, it’s pretty hard to get bored with all of that going on around you. At least, that’s what you would think.

Chinese consumers however, beg to differ. These days, malls in China are built over-the-top. They’ll include anything from an aquarium with performers dressed up as mermaids, to a pig farm. According to the Wall Street Journal, for those adventurous consumers who want to feel like they are simultaneously sunbathing and shopping, there’s now even a man-made beach, in addition to an Olympic-sized ice-skating rink and a 14-screen IMAX theatre, all stuffed into New Century Global Center, a mall in Chengdu, China.

 

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There is, of course, an actual reason behind this ridiculously jam-packed shopping concept. Mark Isreal, CEO of Value Retail China, a company that specializes in developing luxury malls and outlets, recently told the WSJ in an interview that mall owners feel the need to take it up a notch, in order to compete with online shopping. He also told WSJ, “We’ve passed the time where the consumer cares just about the product or the brands they can find. They care about the entire experience.”

Here are some other crazy things you can find while shopping in malls in China:

A Claude Monet Exhibition, in the basement of Shanghai’s K11 Art Mall:

 

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In an outlet mall in Suzhou, China, a street performer at Suzhou Village, who, according to the WSJ, is supposedly embodying the “graphics of the textile seen by Marco Polo on his silk road journey.”

 

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And last but not least, an aquarium with live mermaid performers in The City of Dreams, an entertainment hub in Macau, China:

 

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Feeling overwhelmed yet? Excuse me while I go lie down.

 

Chinese Cancer Patient Makes 1,000 Dolls to Raise Money For Hospital Bill

 

Medical bills these days can go through the roof — especially for local Chinese citizens who do not necessarily have the funds to pay for insurance.

When 26-year-old Zhou Jie was diagnosed with colon cancer, she turned to her family members, who emptied out all their savings in order to help relieve some of the costs. The treatment however, came at too high a price. Even with the aid of her family, she could not meet what the bills demanded.

It’s easy to throw your hands up and surrender when facing debt, and even more so with death — but the Suzhou native didn’t give up. Instead, she made 1,000 dolls and sold them online to raise money, to cover the costs of her illness.

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In no time at all, her story went viral, and Chinese citizens began reaching out to her with words of encouragement — along with their purchases of the dolls. The dolls were priced between 38 – 98 rmb (roughly $6 – $16 USD).

On June 30th, Zhou Jie, dubbed the “doll girl,” passed away peacefully. Her family had told China Times that she had no regrets, knowing that she had the support and love of her family, friends and complete strangers, whom all helped made her dream of raising money, come true.

Introducing Ming Xi, One of China’s Hottest Top Models Right Now

 

You may already be familiar with Chinese models Liu Wen and Fei Fei Sun, but be sure to add the Shanghainese-born model, Ming Xi (birth name Xi Mengyao), to your list of models to watch. Not only was she named one of the top 50 supermodels of the world at the age of 24, she is also currently one of fashion’s busiest and most in-demand models.

With her unique features (those eyes!) and willowy limbs, her success came pretty naturally. Two years after graduating with a degree in fashion design at Donghua University, Ming Xi entered the International Elite Model Look competition in 2009 and came in third place. In January the next year, Givenchy’s creative director Richard Tisci personally requested her to walk in the line’s haute couture runway show. The year after, she appeared in Givenchy’s campaigns.

 

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Givenchy fell in love with her, and just like that, so did the rest of the world. The high-profile model has walked for Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga, just to name a few. Most notably, she also walked with some fierce attitude in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as one of only four Asian models in the entire show.

 

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Clearly, the girl knows how to work the crowd.

Her success pretty much sky rocketed from there. Michael Kors loves her so much that he sent her to the Met Gala in 2014, where she turned heads in an elegant black and green ball gown. She then flew to China where she walked alongside top American fashion models Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Miranda Kerr in Michael Kor’s Shanghai Extravaganza. She also attended his jet-set party for his new flagship store in Shanghai.

 

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Ming Xi, on the right, with Michael Kors and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

 

Despite her success and fame, Ming Xi remains a down-to-earth girl. She told CNN in an interview, “Goals are nice, but with this profession, there is so much that is out of your hands,” she says. “In my opinion, happiness is the most important thing in my life.”

 

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The Theme for Next Year’s Met Gala? All About China

Fashion’s been going East for some time now. Giorgio Armani put on a grand extravaganza of a show in Beijing in 2012. Tory Burch made a push for the Asian consumer when it opened stores in Tokyo and Manila in 2009 and then its first store in Seoul in 2010, quickly becoming the must-have label for well-to-do housewives in Asia. And Diane von Furstenberg made sure she had a few Chinese celebrities prominently front and center in her latest fall/winter runway show. So it’s only further proof of fashion’s love affair with the Asian consumer that The Costume Institute has announced that next spring’s exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is going to be “all about China,” according to WWD.

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Liu Wen in Zac Posen.

As the top Manhattan social event and annual fashion exhibition, the Met Gala already has a strong Asian presence, with Asian American designers like Vera Wang, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang accompanying their finely dressed celebs; Asian American celebs Maggie Q and Olivia Munn; hot Chinese models-of-the-moment Liu Wen to Ming Xi, as well as the Thai American model wife of John Legend, Chrissy Teigen. In addition, Chinese designer Min Liu of fashion label Ms Min attended the gala, courtesy of Hong Kong department store Lane Crawford.

Clearly, we can expect that Asian presence to increase next year. Scroll down to see some of the looks from this year’s gala.

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Ming Xi in Michael Kors.

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Olivia Munn in Diane von Furstenberg.

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Fei Fei Sun in Tory Burch (shown here with Marina Rust and the designer).

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Maggie Q in Zac Posen.

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Chrissy Teigen in Ralph Lauren Collection.

 

Liu Wen impact photo by Phil Oh. 

 

Move Over Gwyneth Paltrow: Make Room For Chinese Celebrities in the Front Row at New York Fashion Week

 

It’s never been a surprise to see A-listers like Jessica Alba or Katie Holmes seated in the very front row at fashion week. If anything, they contribute more to the hype of the already well-known, exclusive event. What we were surprised to see, however, were major Chinese stars not only making an appearance at New York’s Fall/Winter 2014 Fashion Week this year but honored with front row seats as well!

Chinese celebrities photographed at the event included actress Zhang Lanxin (张蓝心), who was seen at Diane Von Furstenburg’s show with ballet dancer Hou Honglan (侯宏澜), as well as the TV show host, Li Siyu (李斯羽). Seated at Tory Burch was their “It girl” and Chinese actress/model Zhang Xin Yuan, who is reported to have 1.3 million followers on Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter).

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Li Siyu with designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

 

 

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Ballet dancer Hou Honglan with designer Tory Burch.

 

 

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Zhang Xin Yuan with designer Tory Burch.

 

This new honor bestowed on Chinese celebrities is a win-win situation for everyone: The celebrities get the best views of the latest collections of top designers and, in return, the top designers gain more publicity (and customers!) in the world’s fastest growing economy. According to Jing Daily, designer Tory Burch is even taking it one step further — her team is working to promote live-streamed shows in China, so that fans can also follow the event from the comfort of their own homes.

 

Incredible Chinese Cosplay Duo Gain Worldwide Fans

The term “cosplay” was first used in 1983 as a way of combining the English words “costume” and “play.” Since then, cosplay has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon. In Asia, it is seen as a significant aspect of pop culture and often influences Japanese/Asian street fashion.

Over the years, I’ve seen my fair share of impressive cosplay (such as this adorable Miyazaki-themed cosplay), but no one has impressed me quite as much as these guys.

A cosplaying duo from China has recently gained viral attention worldwide. Trust me when I say this attention is well-deserved. The 22 and 23-year-old look as if they just stepped out of a manga. Their slender build and tall figures have certainly helped to create the illusion of anime characters. The boys have recreated a number of looks from animes such as Kuroko’s BasketballFree!Detective ConanReborn! and Sailor Moon.

As you can expect, fangirls have been going crazy for them. CRAZY.  They have allegedly caused nosebleeds because of their sexiness and leave girls crying because of their beauty. While we’re sure these are all exaggerated comments, it’s still pretty funny to imagine.

Check out their cosplay photos below and keep in mind that we are not responsible for any nosebleeds, tears or excessive squealing.

 

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(source)

The World’s Last Women With Bound Feet

The tradition of foot binding is one that is deeply rooted in Chinese culture. The popularity of this practice continued for nearly 10 centuries and it was not until the early 1900’s that foot binding was officially banned.

As you can imagine, the process of foot binding was quite a painful one. Extremely tight binding was applied to the feet of young girls to prevent the feet from growing. To ensure that the foot stayed small, toes were curled inward and pressed with a great force until the toes were broken. As you can expect, infection and lifelong disabilities were extremely common.

Foot binding was a very obvious way of showing status. The idea was that women from wealthy families could afford the luxury of having their feet bound while women from impoverished families could not participate in the practice because it would restrict their mobility to work. Bound feet became a mark of beauty and many women who did not have their feet bound would not be able to find a husband.

The very few remaining women who had their feet bound are now in their 80s and 90s. British photographer Jo Farrell decided to document and celebrate the lives of these women. She has been photographing and interviewing women since 2006 and is currently raising funds to compile her research into a book, Living History: Bound Feet Women of China. Fastcodesign.com‘s Carey Dunne managed to speak to the photographer:

Though the foot-binding process was excruciating, Farrell says the women she spoke to didn’t express anger over their past. “The women know that having bound feet was a part of normal life at the time. It was what was required of them to find a suitable marriage,” she says. Often, women and their husbands took great pride in their tiny feet–the ideal length for a bound foot was three inches. In many cases, foot-binding led to permanent disabilities, but in the cases of the women Farrell photographed, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s, “they get around on their own just fine. Most of their ailments are to do with old age,” Farrell says. If anything, “they feel somewhat ashamed of their feet, as it is a bygone tradition and does not represent modern ways in China. They are a generation of forgotten women.”

 

Farrell acknowledges that her photographs are shocking and, at times, difficult to look at. However, she points out that we currently have a number of body modification practices which may seem just as bizarre to an outsider’s eye. We have plastic surgery, tattoos, FGM, etc.

“Perhaps her documentation of the painful remains of one culture’s insane beauty standards will help shed light on our own.” Dunne remarks.

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18 of Asia’s Most Bizarre Products & Trends

Everyday, it seems as if we come across products, trends and even holidays from Asia that gets us quite confused. From fuzzy-hair stockings to an actual single awareness day, Asia never seems short of these bizarre creations. Check out our list of 18 of Asia’s Most Bizarre Products & Trends below. Weird or awesome? You be the judge.


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1) The “Liberation Wrapper”
“For years, Japanese culture has encouraged women to strive for “ochobo” which is described as small and modest mouths… [The liberation wrapper] is a large burger wrapper with the image of a women’s face. The wrapper is meant to hide women as they take a big bite of their burger and maintain the appearance of ochobo.” Read the full story here.


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2) Finger Trap Beauty Test
“The concept is simple: Touch the side of your index finger to both the tip of your nose and your chin. If your lips don’t touch your finger, congratulations! You’re pretty! If they do, well, er … there’s always Photoshop?” Read the full story here. 


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3) Surgical Masks
“Apparently, there are 5 main reasons for the popular mask trend: for health purposes, to avoid social awkwardness, for warmth, for the lazy and in the name of fashion.” Read the full story here. 


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4) Black Day: Korea’s Single Awareness Day 
“As you may have guessed, Black Day is practically the opposite of [Valentine's Day and White Day]. This is a day is for those who did not receive gifts on Valentines Day or White Day. Yup, this unofficial holiday is for single people.” Read the full story here. 


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5) Double Eyelid Training Glasses
“The glasses are a non-surgical option to create the illusion of a double eyelid. The Eyelid Trainer is worn like any other pair of glasses. Apparently, 5 minutes a day with this contraption will give you the double eyelids you desire. ” Read full story here. 


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6) Tokyo Street Fashion 
“While many people find popular Japanese fashion styles such as Harajuku and Lolita confusing, New York-based photographer Thomas C. Card was intrigued by the street fashion that he spent months in Japan to document the various styles.” Read the full story here. 


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7) Edible iPhone Case
“The Survival Senbei Rice Cracker iPhone 5 Cover is handmade by “Mariko” using only brown rice and salt. For $64, you can have a phone cover that doubles as a tasty snack in case of an emergency.” Read the full story here. 


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8) Cosplay Graduation
“But the Kanazawa College of Art is not like other colleges. Graduates are apparently allowed to wear absolutely whatever they would like. So what happens when Japanese students have no dresscode for graduation? Some of the best cosplay ever.” Read the full story here.


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9) The Virtual Girlfriend
“Thousands of men and women of all ages have been captivated by this real life dating simulator which offers three girlfriends to choose from– Rinko, Nene and Manaka. All of the choices have different backstories and adjustable personalities.” Read the full story here. 


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10) The World’s Longest Kiss
“The world’s longest kiss lasted a whomping 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. The record was set by Ekkachai Tiranarat and Laksana Tiranarat during an event organized by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in Thailand. The annual kissathon competition happens during, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day.” Read the full story here. 


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11) Snail Facials 
“Although some of us may see snails as pesky and slimy or even a delicious delicacy, Japan is definitely transforming the use of these creatures and women are paying a pretty big price for this treatment. One session costs approximately 10,500 Yen, which is about $107.” Read the full story here. 


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12) Sex Ed For 30-Year-Olds 
“The tutorials cost more than $400, but women have been lining up to learn and lessons are booked weeks in advance. Many of these students are 30- to 40-year-olds seeking to decrease the anxiety before their first sexual encounter.” Read the full story here. 


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13) The “True Love” Bra
“Makers are claiming that the bra is able to analyze how a woman truly feels and will only pop open when the user finds her true love. The lingerie company is marketing the bra as a safety device. Apparently, the bra will ward off unwanted sexual advances and will make sure that all people, except your true love, will not have access to your breasts.” Read the full story here.


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14) The Study Cube
“Last year, South Korea’s environmentally-friendly furniture manufacturer Emok unveiled the Study Cube, a wooden box just big enough to seat one person in front of a built-in desk. The box comes with a bookshelf, whiteboard, LED light, outlet and ventilation grill. There’s even a massage bar under the desk that also serves as a footrest.” Read the full story here.


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15) Strange Asian Hairdos
“Whether its creepy, funny, or just intriguing to look at, all of these hairstyles are undeniably strange. Although strange hairdos are certainly not something people are born with, a quick google search of “strange Asian hair” is enough to let us know that this is a pretty common search.” Read the full story here.


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16) Anti-Rape Stockings
“The most recent fashion creation from China are hairy-leg stockings designed to ward off men and decrease the possibility of rape. The theory behind this creation is that the male will be so disgusted with the appearance of your legs that you don’t have to worry– they wouldn’t want to have a sexual encounter with you anyway.” Read the full story here


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17) Plastic Surgery Television Shows
“The purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.” Read the full story here.


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18) New Elementary Desks 
“Wuhan City, China has introduced these bars into an elementary school’s first grade classroom. Each bar is drilled into the wooden tables of school children in an effort to preserve the eyesight of the students.” Read the full story here. 

Zoo Discovers A Way To Cheer This Panda Up

Did you think only humans go through depression? Well Sijia is here to prove you otherwise. Sijia is a giant panda bear who lives in China’s Yunnan Safari Park and, you guessed it, she was depressed.

Sijia began showing signs of abnormal activity and depression after being separated from her panda friend, Meixi, who was sent to a zoo in Sichuan. The two had lived together since 2008 and Meixi’s departure clearly left Sijia lonely. Determined to lift her spirits, the staff at Yunnan Safari Park decided to add some joy into the panda’s habitat.

They built Sijia her very own amusement park.

The amusement park contained everything the panda needed to get her mind off of her missing friend. A wooden playground was built with all sorts of bars and swings. To keep Sijia company, the staff placed a life-size, fake panda into the habitat. The fake panda certainly doesn’t replace Meixi, but it helps with the loneliness.

Additionally, a plasma television was added into the enclosure. Don’t worry, the zoo didn’t expect Sijia to be caught up on all the latest shows. They simply felt that the panda would feel less lonely if she watched other pandas on the screen.

Sure enough, the amusement park appears to be working. Sijia is no longer moping around and is more cheerful– especially when she’s playing in her playground.

 

(source)