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  • aerg
    aerg wrote:
    <p>On hot summer days in Beijing and other places, it is a common sight to see men running around without shirts or with their shirts rolled up under their armpits exposing their bellies. They hang around, play cards, drink tea, stroll on the sidewalks without their shirts, exposing their less than ideal bodies. Flabby tummies and spares tires are the norm, not rippling abs. They also like to pull up their trousers past their belly button, with the legs rolled up. One Chinese academic told the Los Angeles Times, “Foreigners who visit always ask why are there so many half-naked men in Beijing." </p> <p>Chinese men expose their bellies to the air as a means of cooling themselves. Some also hike up their pant’s legs. Even though men from a wide range of ages engage in the custom those that do it are smirkingly known as bang ye (‘exposing grandfathers’). One man spotted with his flabby tummy exposed told the Los Angeles Times, ‘I don’t know, it just feels cooler. Look, you just shake your shirt to create breeze.’ [Source:John Glionna, Los Angeles Times, August 2010] </p> <p>Many younger, more sophisticated Chinese don’t like th custom. A man who works at department store in told the Los Angeles Times, ‘It lower’s Beijing’s standing as an international city. If my dad reaches for his shirt when I’m out with him, I threaten to go home. It’s just so embarrassing.’ </p> <p>The habit is actually a sort of compromise to the custom of men going totally shirtless. A Chinese medicine doctor told the Los Angeles Times, ‘People chose to expose their belly because they feel so hot in summer but feel embarrassed to take off their shirts completely.’ </p> <p>Authorities began to crack down on the no-shirt habit during the pre-Olympic run up. During that campaign the Beijing Truth Daily ran pictures of men who went around shirtless, often with less than attractive upper bodies, in an effort to shame them into dressing respectfully. </p>

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