Chinese men have been banned from resorting to the widely used method of staying cool in the sweltering heat of summer – the so-called "Beijing bikinis" – after they were slammed as "uncivilised" by authorities in the city of Jinan, reports The Washington Post.
Authorities in Jinan, a city of around 8.7 million people in Shandong Province, have ordered people to stop rolling up their shirts and resting them on their bellies in what has become known as “Beijing bikinis”.
The cooling method is reportedly based on a theory in traditional Chinese medicine that baring the midriff helps air out of the warm "chi" energy around the internal organs.
As the temperatures in Jinan soared to a sweltering 36C (96F) this week, the new notice also states members of the public should not remove their shirts while outside. The announced measure is part of authorities' broader attempt to rectify "uncivilised behaviour", such as public spitting, slurping soup too loudly, jaywalking and cutting in line.
Jinan, sandwiched between Beijing and Shanghai, is the latest municipality to crack down on “casual exposure,” particularly among “bang ye,” or “exposing grandfathers.”
Punishment now awaits those who are “not dressed properly in public”, with being shirtless and taking off shoes to air the feet considered worst, according to the Jinan local government.
The new order has elicited a response on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, with many supporting the governments’ efforts.
Others, however, called for old people to be left free to do what is customary to them.
The Twitterati also had something to say about the authorities’ efforts to deal with "uncivilised behaviour".
Beijing-bikini should be forbidden and fined unless there is six-pack.— Kaukokaipuu (@Kaukokaip) July 5, 2019
Slurping and any food noise should be banned all over the world 😬😬😬— Mrinal Deo (@mrinaldev) July 4, 2019
This is a fashion statement.— Vincent Ni (@nivincent) July 4, 2019
They tried it in 2008 in Beijing in the run-up to the Olympics. There was massive resistance and the authorities gave up!— Joann Pittman (@jkpittman) July 4, 2019
aka, Beijing air conditioner— Richard Hurtig (@richardhurtig) July 4, 2019
During a hot summer in China a decade ago, my Chinese friends asked me to take off my shirt along with them while we walked to the parking to get the car. It's a part of Chinese culture&as a foreigner, it never offended me. Spitting&jaywalking r rampant and need to be controlled.— Amit Jha (@amitjha086) July 4, 2019