A volunteer wearing Hanfu, an ancient clothing traditionally used to be worn by ethnic-majority Han Chinese, participates in a parade launched at the Piazza San Marco during the Venice Carnival in Venice, Italy, Feb. 17, 2023. (Confucius Institute at Ca' Foscari University of Venice/Handout via Xinhua)
Chinese and Italian volunteers, wearing Hanfu, an ancient clothing traditionally worn by ethnic-majority Han Chinese, participated in a parade in Venice, strengthening ties between sister cities Suzhou and Venice.
VENICE, Italy, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese traditional clothing made its debut at the Venice Carnival amid deepening cultural exchange between the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou and its sister city Venice.
A total of 16 Chinese and Italian volunteers, wearing Hanfu, an ancient clothing traditionally worn by ethnic-majority Han Chinese, participated in a parade launched at the Piazza San Marco in the lagoon city center.
"This is the first time that Chinese traditional costumes have officially participated in the carnival," said Ma Xiaohui, director of the Chinese side of the Confucius Institute at Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
This photo taken on Jan. 15, 2023 shows the snow scenery of Shantang ancient street in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Photo by Hang Xingwei/Xinhua)
The clothing, directly transported from the Suzhou Silk Museum, was themed of Han, Tang, Song and Ming dynasties respectively, well displaying Jiangnan culture and world-known Suzhou silk, Ma said.
The show attracted lots of young people from both China and Italy.
"I decided to participate in this initiative as I found it through Instagram," said Irene Di Maio from southern Italy's Sicily. "I thought it could be a way to bring Chinese culture even closer to me."
The 24-year-old, majoring in Chinese in Venice, went to Suzhou to attend a dragon boat festival five years ago. "I really enjoyed the Chinese traditional dragon boat culture, and this time I would like to know more about Hanfu."
Women present Hanfu, a type of traditional Chinese garment, in Ciqikou ancient town, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, Oct. 2, 2022. (Xinhua/Tang Yi)
"The event was amazing, especially the part from Suzhou, a city I loved very much," said a Serbian tourist, who lived in Suzhou for four years.
"I had visited the Suzhou Silk Museum where I got to know Hanfu," he added, "I wish there would be more activities like this around the world."
"Bringing the traditional silk costumes of Suzhou here is a cultural idea," said Laura Fincato, an honorary citizen of Suzhou.
In addition to the clothing show, visitors can also enjoy a series of Chinese cultural activities, including the performance of Guzheng, a traditional Chinese musical instrument, Hanfu try-ons and calligraphy demonstrations at the Palazzo Santa Sofia, Ma said.
Tourists are seen at the Shantang Street scenic area in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Oct. 1, 2022. (Photo by Hang Xingwei/Xinhua)
Suzhou, dubbed by the Italian explorer Marco Polo in the 13th century as "the Venice of the East", became a sister city to Venice in 1980, and since then multiple activities of mutual historical and cultural exchange have been carried forward.
The Venice Carnival 2023, themed "Take Your Time for the Original Signs," kicked off in the Italian lagoon city on Feb. 4 and will last until Feb. 21.
People attend a water parade of the Venice Carnival in Venice, Italy, on Feb. 5, 2023. (Xinhua/Jin Mamengni)■