The "Beijing bikini" threatened by the Chinese authorities

The "Beijing bikini" threatened by the Chinese authorities

Practiced by men of a certain age, this exhibition of belly is no longer the taste of municipalities, who want to ban it because it harms "the image of the city and the morale of its inhabitants."

Posted today at 18h41, updated at 19h04 Time to Reading 2 min.

A man with the raised t-shirt comes out of the Beijing National Stadium, China, in August 2009.
A man with the raised t-shirt comes out of Beijing National Stadium, China, in August 2009. Ng Han Guan / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Qhe has already ventured into a Chinese city in peak heat necessarily crossed one of these men, most of a certain age, the T-shirt rolled on the chest, letting appear a fat belly. A refreshing technique so common that it even bears a name: the "Peking bikini". But recently, this form of navel exhibition no longer seems to the taste of the public authorities. In early July, the city of Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province to 8.7 million people, banned the bang ye, literally "old men naked".

According to the Chinese news website Sixth Tonethe municipality has published a new guide listing the "Discourteous behavior" reprehensible, among which is now the fact of walking around shirtless in a public place. To justify this classification, the authorities explained that the practice "Harmed the image of the city and the morale of its inhabitants". Offenders will be reminded verbally at first, then publicly reported in case of recidivism.

Hot energies of "qi"

The practice is not the only one to be targeted by Jinan City Hall. The list of bans includes the fact of removing his shoes in public to cool his feet, spit on the ground, walk his dog "incivilely" or go off in a queue. But the ban on the Beijing bikini is the one that provokes the most debate.

Historically, the practice is inherited from traditional Chinese medicine, recalls the Washington Post. Exposing its diaphragm thus would indeed allow to evacuate the hot energies of the qi around the organs. However, in this period when the climate keeps warming – the temperature in the Jinan region has reached 36 oC this week – the question of the viability of large Chinese agglomerations during heat waves is becoming more and more important.

"Raising your T-shirt causes less carbon emissions than turning on the air conditioning", says a Chinese surfer quoted by the US site CNN, "Let the elderly act as they wish". Especially as the aesthetic criterion is discrimination, underline many users of the Chinese social network Weibo. "If the bodies are beautiful then we agree, but if they are old and withered, it becomes out of the question", says a user cited by the site Radii China. Many Internet users, however, welcome the decision, arguing that we can not behave in the street as we do at home.

Jinan City is not the first to act against bare torsos. In May, a resident of the coastal city of Tianjin received a fine equivalent to 6.25 euros for ventilating his stomach. In Handan, Hebei Province, public authorities have even produced a commercial to encourage older men to abandon the practice. We see a young woman come to introduce her boyfriend for the first time to his father, who plays in a public park shirtless. "Is it really your father? He is so disrespectful! "rebels the aspiring son-in-law. At the end of the video, the father finally agrees to put tee-shirt and hat outside his home.

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