Foreigners Explore Song Dynasty Culture in Hangzhou

Three foreigners dressed in traditional costumes from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and explored the history and culture behind the garments at the Hangzhou Public Library on April 26, local media outlets reported.

Threaded by nine classic paintings of the time, the foreigners learned about the origin, varieties and characteristics of the costumes, the etiquette around wearing them, and how they were used as diplomatic gifts in ancient China.

Ge Yue Tu, which depicts a scene of female musicians performing and rehearsing in the imperial court of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), is one of the paintings.

The foreigners learned various details of the girlsโ€™ costumes, which directly reflect cultural features of the time, such as a dancer on the right wearing an earth-green tunic with narrow sleeves and high slits on both sides, the front train being short and the back train being long.

โ€œSince the war between the Song Dynasty and neighboring countries subsided and social exchanges were established, the traditional clothing culture of various nationalities have influenced each other,โ€ said Wei Feng, who studies the culture of the Song Dynasty.

The activity was part of the cultural experience series โ€œA Journey to Experience the Charm of the Song Dynasty Though Paintingsโ€, which was organized by the Hangzhou Peopleโ€™s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Hangzhou Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism.

The series of activities will be held monthly in the following eight months, with each edition featuring a unique cultural symbol of the Song Dynasty. The next edition will focus on ancient music and instruments.

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