Stripping to the waist being banned in Chinese cities

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/3 16:47:04

People walk in Jiangbin Park shirtless in Jilin, Northeast China's Jilin Province in 2017. The temperature reached 34 C on that day. Photo: IC

Local governments across China have rolled out a campaign to ban people from walking around in public shirtless as a part of efforts to curb uncivilized behavior.  

Authorities from Ji'nan, East China's Shandong Province said they will strictly monitor whether members of the public are naked above the waist in summer, especially in public areas, such as parks, squares, buses and business streets, local media Ji'nan Daily reported on Tuesday, citing the Office of the Spiritual Civilization Development Steering Commission. 

Local media and residents are asked to supervise, expose and condemn those who are shirtless in public during the summer. 

Apart from Ji'nan, other cities including Tianjin, Shenyang in Northeast China's Liaoning Province and Handan in North China's Hebei Province are also cracking down on this uncivilized behavior. 

Stripping to the waist is regarded as "uncivilized" and banning it will improve the image of the city, the local authority said. Ji'nan officially adopted a local regulation on promoting civilized behavior in March this year. 

In Tianjin, the local regulation on promoting civilized behavior that was officially implemented in May, stipulates that people who are shirtless in public, and cannot be persuaded to put their shirts back on will be fined up to 200 yuan ($29), Beijing Youth Daily reported. 

In 2015, being shirtless was targeted by the Shenyang authority as well. People who are caught will be reported to their employers. All colleagues will receive education on this matter if one of their colleagues is caught engaged in uncivilized behavior, according to local media.

The move to ban this uncivilized behavior is widely discussed online and hailed by the public. The hashtag - stripping to the waist in public being cracked down across the nation - has garnered nearly 3 million views as of press time on Sina Weibo. 

An online poll by Chengdu Business Daily on Wednesday showed that, nearly 20,000 netizens back the nationwide campaign and 5,000 people consider it okay to be shirtless in public. Some said there is no need for the government to interfere. 

Stripping to the waist is commonly seen in China, especially among the elderly. 

Being shirtless in public originates in China's traditional farming culture. It was a common scene to see farmers working in the fields shirtless but as the society developed, not wearing a shirt is considered unfitted behavior, an anonymous professor from Peking University told the Global Times.  

Many also believe that for some people, especially young people, being shirtless in public shows an influence from Hong Kong gangster movies in the 1990s, in which actors always showed off their muscles and tattoos because it was considered cool. The gangster-themed movies were popular all over the country.

In Western countries, many consider stripping to the waist as an attractive and masculine fashion for men. 

In summer it is common to see men or women pull off their shirts while lying on the grass or beach to sun bath in countries like the UK. 

Newspaper headline: Chinese cities ban going shirtless in public


blog comments powered by Disqus