What Is Your Traditional Attire?

기사승인 [402호] 2023.05.09  


   Many countries have their own distinct traditional attire, with unique features and associated rich history. The local dress is affected by a country’s historical and environmental factors and is an easily identifiable representative of its culture. So, what are some of the cultural elements present in some of the world’s traditional attire, including Korea’s hanbok?

   The hanbok, a traditional Korean outfit, dates back to the Joseon Dynasty and still holds significant cultural value today. The attire varies between men and women, with the men's hanbok being simpler in shape and color than the women’s hanbok. Both male and female hanboks have a Jeogori, which is the top of the hanbok or jacket, while the men complete the outfit with pants and the women wear a skirt. A men's Jeogori is longer and more generous in fit than the women's, and the front ribbons were shorter. They served as straps to make it easier to put on and take off the garments. The women's Jeogori has evolved over time, becoming shorter in length and featuring colorful collar decorations and front ribbons. Both added a durumagi overcoat for added warmth. The men’s pants varied in width, color, and length depending on the status of the person wearing them. In addition, during the Joseon Dynasty, noble women covered their faces and wrapped their heads with a skirt when they were out. The hanbok was adapted to suit the modern culture and eventually developed into everyday wear, with simplified designs featuring buttons and shorter sleeves. More recently, hanboks have made their appearances in the K-pop music videos of BLACKPINK and BTS. The modern edition of the garment is characterized by short Jeogori jackets, long pants, and more colorful patterns as compared to traditional hanboks. The hanbok is not worn as frequently as it was in the past, however, dressing up in the traditional attire for photographs while touring attractions like Gyeongbokgung Palace has become a popular activity for tourists and Koreans alike. Koreans still hold the Hanbok in high regard and continue to enjoy wearing it. Just as with the hanbok, other countries have their own traditional dress that holds the same powerful cultural significance for its citizens, and they are worth exploring.

▲ A Couple Wearing Hanbok (Photo from the Pexels)

   Italian exchange student Elena (Sophomore, International English Teacher Education) recently got to wear a hanbok in March. She expressed her admiration for the beauty of the garment and said she felt like a princess wearing it. During her time at DKU, Elena also shared her knowledge of Italian traditional attire, including the dress of Toscana and Silicia. She explained that Italy has a rich culture of traditional attire, with each region having its own unique style. Their garments may or may not resemble those of neighboring European countries such as Germany and Spain.  He pointed out that German traditional dress has more in common with Austrian traditional attire than Italy’s, while Spanish traditional attire is dance-based and distinct from neighboring Italian traditional dress. However, the hanbok and Italian traditional clothing are both used in similar ways in modern daily life. Except for a few people who prefer wearing hanboks on a daily basis or for memories, the garments are typically reserved for special occasions such as weddings and holidays in Korea. This same goes for the traditional attire of Italy. According to Elena, Italians tend to view traditional attire and fashion as separate entities, with the latter being a major part of Italian culture. However, there are specific stores where Italian traditional attire can be rented or purchased for special occasions. 

   Vietnamese student, Đinh Phương Thảo (Junior, Dept. of International Business Administration) has never worn a hanbok before, but she thinks it is a beautiful and elegant traditional dress that reflects Korea's unique cultural identity. She especially praised its colorful and vibrant designs and its ability to highlight the body's natural curves, creating a graceful and dignified appearance. She also shared information about the traditional clothing of her country, Vietnam, the ao dai. She explains that the ao dai is a lovely and graceful outfit that reflects Vietnamese culture's exquisite and refined aspects. She added that some female high school students are required to wear it on Monday of each week or at the start of the new academic school year ceremony. However, the outfit is no longer limited to school events, as young Vietnamese women have embraced it as a symbol of liberation and modernity. This was the result of a group of young designers in Ho Chi Minh City who experimented with new designs for the traditional garment making it more appealing to the younger generation.

▲ Model With a Red Ao Dai (Photo from the Pexels)

   Traditional clothing is sacred in that it contains the spirit, history, and beauty of a nation beyond the value of any simple clothing. In the case of the hanbok, the garment reflects the beliefs, customs, and traditions of the Korean people, just as it shows our differences in Confucian history. In comparison, Vietnam's traditional garment, the ‘ao dai,’ embodies the country's rich history but also continues to remain relevant as contemporary people wear this traditional dress in their daily lives. The traditional garments of Toscana and Silicia in Italy may not be worn as frequently today, but recognizing them as a significant part of the nation’s cultural heritage preserves their value. Every country has a different approach to its traditional attire, but the message conveyed is the same “to honor and appreciate your cultural roots.”

정영훈, 윤희원, 김영준, 장수연

<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald 무단전재 및 재배포금지>




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