Talking Points: is wearing clothes from a different culture appropriation or appreciation? [Part. 1]

Talking Points: is wearing clothes from a different culture appropriation or appreciation? [Part. 1]

Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

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Twitter was divided after an American girl (front row, centre) with no Chinese roots wore a cheongsam to prom.
Photo: Twitter

Hayley Poon Hi-yee, 16, Tung Chung Catholic School

Wearing clothes from a different culture shows a person’s appreciation of the culture. When that American girl wore a cheongsam to her school prom, she showed that she values Chinese culture. The fact that she wore a traditional Chinese dress on such an important occasion can help to promote Chinese culture.

Hannah Faith Chak, 17, Po Leung Kuk Wu Chung College

I believe it’s cultural appreciation, not appropriation. For the American teenager to choose to wear a cheongsam to her school dance, she must be a big fan of Chinese culture. And if some people don’t like that sort of thing, that’s their problem. If an American is being criticised for wearing a Chinese dress, does that mean Chinese people can’t wear Western clothes? That’s stupid thinking.


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Leung Hau-ying, 14, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

Nowadays, many countries around the world encourage their people to respect other cultures. When you are in Japan, for example, you can wear a kimono. You don’t have to be Japanese to do that. We shouldn’t discourage people from trying to experience cultures that are different from their own. As for the American teen who wore a cheongsam? You rock, girl!

Cheung Pui-sze, 15, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

It’s surely cultural appreciation! There are so many different cultures around the world, and that’s something we need to accept. We should be able to wear whatever we want without being criticised. We should support people who want to embrace cultures from different countries.

Lau Wing-tung,16, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

I like seeing people wear clothes from different cultures as I think blending cultures together is a good thing. It gives people a way to connect with people from different cultures to their own, and encourages them to learn more about other cultures, too.


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Judy Cheung, 15, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

I don’t think it’s cultural appropriation. If a non-Chinese person was to wear a cheongsam, for example, it shows they appreciate Chinese culture. I think more people should wear cheongsams as they are very beautiful.

Helen Liu, 16, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

A lot of poeple though it was wrong when that American teenager wore a traditional Chinese dress to her prom. However, I think the cheongsam looked nice on her and that she carried it respectfully, so I don’t see anything wrong with what she did.


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Karen Ho Ka-man, 16 , Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

I think wearing clothes from a different culture is cultural appreciation. The girl in the news who posted a photo of her wearing a traditional Chinese dress to prom on Twitter shouldn’t have been criticised. She was just appreciating this part of China’s culture. She wouldn’t have worn the dress if she didn’t think it was beautiful.

Jodi Pak, 15, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

It’s definitely more cultural appreciation. As long as we do it in a respectful way, I don’t see any problem with someone wearing clothes from a different culture. It’s not a bad way to start learning about other cultures and it could even help other people to learn more about that culture through you.


In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

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We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to yp@scmp.com by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by Nicole Moraleda 

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Is wearing clothes from a different culture appreciation or appropriation?

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