ne of the true charms of living in China is under attack yet again with officials in one Anhui city attempting to shame residents for walking around outdoors in their PJs.
The urban management office in the city of Suzhou (宿州) published an article on WeChat on Monday featuring photos of 15 individuals who were caught engaging in various forms of “uncivilized behavior.”
A whopping seven of these entries were of people strolling down the street in their pajamas, a comfy fashion choice that is seen around China but especially in Shanghai. The tradition is said to come from a time when the Western bedtime outfit was rather expensive so those who could afford a pair would wear them outside to flaunt their wealth.
The surnames of the pajama-wearers were included in the photos along with part of their ID numbers and the location where the pictures were taken. This soon sparked anger online and the post has since been taken down.
It seems the images were the result of the urban management office asking last year for submissions from the public of uncivilized behavior in action, calling on residents to help make their city more “civilized” and promising a 10 yuan reward for each accepted entry.
Wearing pajamas outdoors has long been deemed “uncivilized” by many localities in China, including even Shanghai which launched a crackdown on the practice about a decade ago ahead of Expo 2010, worrying evidently that the PJ-clad aunties and uncles would cause the city to lose face among foreign visitors.
Of course, we’ve yet to meet a single foreigner who’s against public displays of pajamas. Some have even been here long enough to flirt with adopting the style.