By Galina Gromova
The national costumes of Chinese minorities were created with unexpected diversity of fabrics and richness of colours and styles, reflecting the Chinese way of life and cultural legacy. The loosely fitting outfits of the northern nations and delicate costumes of those from the southern regions shared decorative beauty while representing the wisdom, moral ideals and aesthetic taste of successive generations.
In all, 56 nationalities reside in China, which occupies a huge territory. Most are of Han nationality (around 90 percent) while the others are national minorities, dispersed over various geographical and climatic conditions: huge plains and prairies, mighty mountains and deserts, the taiga and rain forests.
The exhibition showcases 26 costumes, as well as dolls in national costumes, hosted by the National History Museum of Belarus. Chinese students, currently studying in Minsk, were among those in attendance, performing a concert for guests.
It has become a tradition for the National History Museum of Belarus to work with the Chinese Embassy in creating such events. Minskers and guests of the Belarusian capital have already seen the Beijing Opera, the most famous finds by Chinese archaeologists and Chinese folk musical instruments. Other exhibitions have explored the history of hieroglyphs, contemporary Chinese watercolour painting and Chinese ink painting.
Minsk recently hosted a show of Chinese folk costumes and a women’s collection made from Chinese silk, entitled Silk Path. It was a great success, organised by the Chinese Embassy to Minsk and the Belarusian Fashion Centre. The fashion show featured Chinese students and Belarusian models, who demonstrated historical costumes from the Han, Tang and other imperial Chinese dynasties, alongside national costumes of Chinese minorities, and a contemporary collection. The latter showcased the ancient traditions of China and famous Chinese silk, interpreted by modern Belarusian fashion designers.