January 4, 2010

Meinung. Hakka’s Blue Shirts

藍衫是客家的傳統服飾,也是極具代表性的客家文化。但身為客家人的我,卻一點也不知道藍衫的存在,探究之後才知,大多地區的客家人早在日治時代服裝就已西化,我外婆那一代就已經對藍衫印象模糊,更別提到我這一代了。慶幸的是,美濃因環境封閉、鄉民個性保守,而讓傳統文化得以傳承。

Blue Shirts are the traditional clothing of Hakka’s. It also represents Hakka’s culture. Being a Hakka, I was not even aware of the existence of blue shirts. After the discovery, I found out that most of the Hakka costumes have already been westernized since the Japanese colonial era. My grandmother’s generation has limited memory of the blue shirts, not to even mention my generation. Fortunately, due to the isolated environment and conservative personalities of the villagers, Meinung let this traditional culture to pass along.

「錦興行」是美濃碩果僅存的藍衫店,營業至今已有近八十年的歷史了。

“Jing Sing Shop” is the only remaining shop making blue shirts in Meinung and has a history of almost eight decades.

照片中慈祥的老爺爺是錦興行的創始人,也是國內最老的國寶級藍衫師傅,美濃人稱他為「景來師」的謝景來。民國前一年出生(1910年)的謝爺爺,雖然已近百歲,但仍能手持剪刀,穩穩當當的裁剪布料。

The kind grandpa in the photo is the founder of “Jing Sing Shop”. He is also the oldest master in Taiwan in making of the blue shirts. The residents call him “Jing Lai Master” because of his name- Shieh, Jing Lai. Grandpa Shieh was born in 1910. Although he is almost 100 years old, he can still cut fabrics professionally with scissors.

二、三年前,將店交由長媳接班後,謝爺爺終於結束了與縫紉機相伴近八十載的日子了。

The shop was taken over by his eldest son’s wife about 2 to 3 years ago. Grandpa Shieh finally ended his days that were accompanied by the sewing machine for almost 80 years.

目前錦興行是由謝爺爺的兒子設計款式,由媳婦裁縫製作。

Currently, the son of grandpa Shieh’s is designing the style and his wife tailoring and producing.

過去,客家婦女除了要張羅家中大小事情外,還經常要下田勞動,因白色容易髒,黑色犯忌,因此布料大多使用耐洗耐磨,以大青植物染成的藍色棉布為主。客家人保守傳統、平實質樸,服裝方便自然也呈現簡樸保守的一面。藍衫樣式相當簡單,衣身寬大不露身體曲線,衣襟彎曲向右開口,袖口反摺做為口袋,如此而已並沒有過多的裝飾或華麗的車邊。

In the past, Hakka women needed to handle everything in the house and also work in the farm. White clothing would get dirty easily; black clothing would not bring luck, so women used durable fabrics as the plant dyed blue cotton fabrics for the clothing. Hakka people are conservative as demonstrated on their costume design, which is simple, plain, and conservative. Blue shirts have very simple style, loosing shirts without showing body curve lines, the front piece open to the right, cuffs fold as a pocket, no heavy decorations on the shirts.

現今的藍衫大多已經過改良,除了傳統長衫外也設計較為俏麗的短版,在縫線及車邊上也富於變化。目前一件藍衫售價約三千元以上。

Beside the traditional style, the modern blue shirts are shorter with a variety of designs on the edge of the tailoring. A blue shirt costs NT 3000 or above now.

店內掛著「阿嬤的紅花布」燈籠,這個才喚起我小時候的記憶。記得家裡有一件又厚又重的棉被,被套就是這樣的花布,伴隨著我好長的一段歲月呢!

A lantern is hanging in the shop with “Grandma’s red flower fabrics” which reminds me the childhood memories. I remember I had a thick heavy blanket. The cover of the blanket was made with this printed fabric. This blanket accompanied me for many years.

不管是藍衫還是花布,客家之美跨越了傳統與現代,在世人的肯定下持續綻放著。

Regardless of the blue shirts or printed flower fabrics, the beauty of Hakka has passed beyond the tradition and modern; it continues to bloom with wide interest.

錦興行藍衫店

電話:(07) 681-1191

地址:高雄縣美濃鎮泰安里永安路177號

營業時間:07:30~21:00

Jing Shing Blue Shirts Shop

TEL: (07) 681-1191

Address: Meinung Township, Kaohsiung County, 177, Tai-An, Yong-An Rd

Operation hours: 07:30-21:00 Read More

10 comments:

1ondoncalling said...

I am Chinese Hakka too, but I have never heard of these blue shirts...
Ha ha... I think I must be a bad Hakka!

I still remember quite a few Hakka words though. ;)

Re: London City Hall - Yes, it was freezing cold out there!!!

micki and kristen said...

Haha~~ you are not alone about the blue shirts! Hakka is your 5Th language....Super!

1ondoncalling said...

I am not sure if that counts as my 5th language.
I was brought up in a Mandarin- and Hakka-speaking family.
I speak Mandarin with my parents; Hakka with my grandparents and aunts. I also know some Cantonese, since it's quite similar to Hakka.

Re: Freedom in captivity / 束缚的自由 / Kebebasan di dalam tawanan / 束縛の自由 -

I would like to have a Nikon D3! But Coolpix 3200 is fine at the moment, so I just have to wait till I strike the lottery 1st prize!

kristen and micki said...

It is a special gift to grow up and live in a multi- dialect or multi-language family and environment!

Anonymous said...

What are other people's experiences about speaking Hakka in Hakka homes (or at least where one parent is Hakka)? It seems to me tha many in the younger generation are no longer learning Hakka at home, so it is sad that our language may not persist into the distant future... I learned about the Hakka blue shirts from my parents, but it is not a widely known tradition among the young. Blue has been a favorite color among the Chinese, however, as evidenced in the blue porcelain produced historically by us.

kristen and micki said...

I think it also depends on where we live. The families live in the Hakka communities still speak Hakka, so do their children. In my case, since my parents grew up in the aborigines’ community, they communicate in Hakka and Mandarin. There are some words they don’t even know in Hakka. I use both Hakka and Mandarin to talk to my mother, but less in Hakka which is the fact. Because of that, my mother did not know the blue shirts culture, and my dad passed away early, so I was not able to find out from him. The good thing is that there is a 24 hours Hakka TV program which can definitely help in learning Hakka and promoting Hakka culture in Taiwan.

lechua said...

are these blue shirts worn for any special occasions today? it's great to know that the grandson of grandpa shieh is taking over the business and preserving this cultural tradition.

kristen and micki said...

To Lechua- Blue shirts now can be seen in a number of occasions: The owners or salesmen of the stores wear blue shirts to attract tourists. We can also see people wearing blue shirts for the fashion reason or showing his/her characteristic. Unfortunately, they are not wearing them for the tradition..

Anonymous said...

Is the blue shirt only for female Hakka?

Pyl said...

I discover your blog by searching Hakka Fashion ! My dad's family are all Hakka of Hong Kong and I discover the Hakkas of Formose last year during a little trip ! I'm glad I found your blog, I think I will have a lot of pleasure to discover more about Taïwan ! :)

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