Why Asians Always Wear Masks – Well hey there! If you’ve ever been to any East Asian countries, or seen them in pictures or TV shows, you probably noticed hundreds of people wearing surgical masks. They wear them in public transport, cafes, in the street, and in the office. Apparently, there’s an absurd number of surgeons in these countries who like to wear their work clothes home. Or not.
In Japan, Korea, China, and Vietnam, medical face masks have long ago become part of everyday life. Even babies wear them all the time. It looks like the most obvious reason would be to not catch a cold. Well, technically, it all started with that. Wearing a mask gives minimal protection from germs, though it’s the opinion of some that viruses have no difficulty getting through them.
But the real reason is that people who are already sick wear masks in an effort to not infect others. The Japanese aren’t used to skipping a single workday, even if they’re not feeling well. When you’re sick, you’re constantly leaving a trail of germs that stay behind wherever you go: on seats in public transport, doors, and hand-rails.
That’s why wearing a mask is a social courtesy: if you feel sick, you’re not supposed to put everyone around you at risk. This is part of the Asian mindset. During flu epidemics in a cold season, every second man, woman, and baby in Asia wears a mask. The fewer people get ill, the less the epidemic will spread, and the faster it’ll end.
Another reason is air pollution. Industrialized cities and thousands of cars don’t make for clean air. If you ride a scooter, and there are millions of them in Vietnam and China, you’ll want a mask. It protects not only from dust and emissions, but all sorts of flying insects that bump into your face at a high speed.
Masks are also effective against allergies. The end of February is the beginning of allergy season for people in Japan. Pollen spreads around the whole country for several months, till the end of May, and makes life miserable for those who are sensitive to it. Red eyes, a runny nose, and itching are the most harmless signs of allergies.
No wonder people don’t ever take off their masks in the streets during spring. In those Asian countries where winters can be cold and frosty, masks can also help to protect the face. A shallower upside to the masks for the ladies is that they hide your face if you didn’t have time to apply all your makeup. Put on some mascara and a mask and you’ll look great.
Men have their own advantage too: they can wear a mask to hide if they’ve failed to shave in the morning. What a great idea!Asians wear masks so often that they’ve long ago become part of their wardrobe. Young people try to pick out a mask color and shape to match their outfit. Manufacturers produce them as a trendy accessory in different colors and materials, and Asian designers call masks an element of “smog couture”.
Still another reason masks are so popular in the countries of East Asia is that they help to hide a person’s emotions. If you don’t want to share your sadness or joy with others, masks will help you with that. It’s a true gift for introverts who don’t feel like talking to strangers or answering questions from shop assistants.
Some people also wear headphones and feel safe and protected wherever they go. The Asian masks market is thriving, they spend $230,000,000 on masks yearly in Japan alone. New options appear all the time. One Japanese manufacturer even started producing masks that help with shedding weight. They have a special color and flavor that stimulate the metabolism to help its owner get in shape. Wow, I assumed it would just plug up his mouth. My bad.
But this isn’t the only interesting tradition in Asia that surprises foreigners. This ancient culture has hundreds of mysteries. Asia is the biggest continent in square miles and population. It’s bigger than the entire surface of the moon by 2.9 million square miles. The population of the whole continent is 60% of the world’s population.
If all these people stand together holding each other’s hands, nothing would get done– oh, and they’d make 100 circles around the Earth. Only one Chinese province, Sichuan, has more people in it than Greece, Portugal, Netherlands, Austria, Guatemala, Malaysia, Australia and Canada put together. And this province is only the 4th biggest in China.
Though China is in 5 time zones, there’s officially only one that they use. The government accepted this rule in the middle of the 20th century to make the people of China more united. That’s why, when it’s 6 am in Beijing, the Western territories will be in darkness for 2 more hours. The Vietnamese New year, Tet, is a birthday for everyone.
It starts on the first day of the Moon calendar, which is at the end of winter, and is celebrated for several days. The Vietnamese and Koreans count their age by the number of Moon years. So even if a child is born several days before Tet, they won’t turn one year old until their first Tet. The Thai New Year is celebrated from April 13 till April 15, and is the oldest festival that marks the change of seasons.
One of the main rituals of this holiday is smearing each other with a mixture of water,flour, and talc. And this helps with what — a facial or something? If you know about it, tell me in the comments. The Japanese are the thinnest nation among the largest economies. And this is regulated by law!Japanese laws demand that men’s waist shouldn’t be wider than 33. 5 inches.
Women’s waists shouldn’t be wider than 35 inches. People who break the law won’t be fined or jailed, but will get a medical consultation and are usually put on a diet approved by the government. This is done for the sake of the nation’s health, since excess weight is generally linked with different diseases. So it’s their way to weigh you, so you don’t weigh, way, way too much.
The Chinese name their children after events. In 1992, China applied to hold the Olympic Games, and 680 newborn babies were called Aoyun, which means “Olympic Games” in Chinese. Other popular names are “Creating the nation”, “Space travel”, and “Defense of China”. Apparently few if any, are named “Kung Fu Panda”.
In Vietnam, men grow long fingernails. It’s considered a high-class mark, since only people who don’t do any hard work can manage this. These are mainly people who work in shops and beauty salons. “Inemuri” is the Japanese practice of taking a nap during the workday. If you go to sleep in the office, nobody will judge or fire you.
Quite to the contrary, it’s a sign that you work a lot and don’t have time to sleep at home. It’s also proved that a short nap during the day helps to rest and restore energy,which means that people will work more efficiently. The famous Japanese dish, “sushi” originated from South Asia and is made from 2 main ingredients of Eastern cuisine – rice and fish.
The Japanese have eaten it for many generations, and got so used to it that they now have special bacteria in their gut that help to digest the seaweed better than people from other nations do. Skyscrapers in Hong Kong have huge holes about 40 feet high and 33 feet wide. This is done so that dragons can fly through them when they go from the mountain to these a.
In other words, so that energy could flow easily. This is part of the Fengshui tradition that the Chinese believe in and follow in daily life, even in architecture. Holy Buildings! Which of these Asian traditions or facts surprises you most? Let me know down in the comments.