China succumbs to the Age of Pampers


According to today’s Times, an age-old Chinese tradition is about to be made extinct, another victim of Western marketing:

For many tourists, one of the indelible images of China is that of the cutie-pie baby wearing the pants with the giant hole on the bottom. If their timing is right, the tourists might even catch a toddler relieving himself, right on the street.

Visitors may find this disgusting, or delightful, but they may not see such sights much longer, at least in the cities. China’s famous split pants may soon be eclipsed by the disposable diaper.

The article goes into copious detail about every conceivable aspect of the Diaper Revolution, for those who care.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

If I wasn’t on haitus I would write a post explaining how this articles doesn’t get it.

No way will split pants become what the article says it will. Traditions around here die hard, and there’s no way that common chinese will pay more money for something when they could just get pants, rip a hole in it if there’s not already one there, and let it be that.

I mean, sure this is one of those “separating the classes” thing, but it’s not like split pants are dissappearing. Up market supermarkets are only visited by those who can afford the higher prices, and not even better quality. Next time I go to one of those I’ll check myself though.

Besides, the article probably doesn’t address another aspect to this story. Many kids don’t wear any clothes outside at all. You know how many bare butts I’ve seen or dangling penises I’ve tried avoid seeing? Man, the media just doesn’t get China at all. It pisses me off, but it pisses me off that I can’t blog it!

August 6, 2003 @ 10:49 am | Comment

Besides, imagine the problem of disposing of billions of soiled nappies every year. As revolting as the split-pants method is, at least it doesn’t generate excess garbage too.

August 6, 2003 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

Remember, Adam, the reporter is only talking about shoppers in the big cities (i.e., SHG, BJG and GZH). Were you able to access the article?

August 6, 2003 @ 2:23 pm | Comment

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February 16, 2005 @ 4:07 am | Comment

Part of the reason why split pants are fading is because of the Olympics – The Chinese government does not want split pants to disgust people.

June 10, 2005 @ 1:03 pm | Comment

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