Certain areas of China get very hot in the summer; therefore many people try to stay cool in the shade. A couple of hot cities I have visited are Shanghai and Xian. Shanghai feels hotter than it is because of the high humidity. Wow, one summer, when I went to Xian, the weather was so hot, that I couldn’t get my hotel room cool enough!
To beat the heat in China, the people find various ways of staying in the shade. As this first picture shows, the police in Tiananmen Square have large umbrellas to stand under― and they need them! As you can imagine, Tiananmen Square is very hot and crowded in the summer, and the cement surface absorbs the heat and makes the day that much hotter. I couldn’t imagine standing for a shift in all the heat and direct exposure to the sun.
People that work outside wear hats designed to keep the sun off of them. These hats are commonly seen in China.
The Chinese have beautiful skin with its nice olive tone, yet many Chinese want to avoid letting their skin get darker. For that reason, on hot days and when the sun is out, it is also common to see people protecting themselves from the sun by wearing full-face reflective sun visors (like sunglasses) that shield the entire face, ladies carrying umbrellas or wearing long gloves, and taxi drivers wearing gloves.
Hopefully, you now have a greater appreciation for the need for shade in China, and understand how refreshing it is to have a pagoda for some shade.
To learn more about China, check out Lessons from China: A Westerner’s Cultural Education!
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