The other day I went to the Hung Shing Yeh Beach on Lamma Island and saw this army of fully-clothed Chinese people sitting on the sands, with hats and umbrella covering their face. Normally, people go to the beach for swimming or suntanning. However, they don’t swim nor get sun-tanned, so why on earth do they go to the beach fully-clothed?
Why is that?
Apparently, the reason is that they just want to keep themselves white. On a social reason, in traditional Chinese thinking, being white symbolizes being more rich because that means you don’t need to do physical work in a field where you will be exposed under the sun and get tanned easily. Richer people in general don’t do physical but more clerical work, and they work indoor so they’re more white. Since Chinese people want to look rich, then they need to be white. Also, because of the prevalence of white expats migrating to China and Hong Kong where they earn much more than locals, so again, being white represents having more wealth.
On a physical point of view, being white means being more beautiful in Chinese thinkings as white skins make a woman look vulnerable whom you want to protect, hence she would find it easier to find her desire husband because of Chinese man’s protection and controlling instinct.
So What do they do on the beach?
During my stay on the beach for a few hours, I saw them (the proportion of time spent is shown in brackets):
- putting on suncream 5 times in 1 hour (40%)
- just sitting and doing nothing (30%)
- gossiping about celebrities (20%)
- talking about why people like doing suntanning (10%)