chinese blogs

Renaissance Faire - Race and Culture

This month hosts The Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Los Angeles. For those of you who have never been to a Ren Faire, one of the key aspects of it is costume and dressing up. 

When I was in High School and would go with my High School friends, I was always a little jealous of the costumes that they would wear. All of my friends in High School you see, were white. The costumes that they would wear always looked right on them and somehow, wrong on me. 

One year, I took things into my own hands and decided to dress as a Chinese Peasant. I got a Rice Paddy hat from our local chinatown and a pretty drab and easy top and pants (I super wish I could find these photos for you guys)  

The effect worked, a lot of people noticed my costume and laughed at my little joke.

Still, I would look at my friends in their beautiful dresses and flower crowns and envy that they could easily slip into this land of make believe and I still felt a little bit like an outsider. 

I don’t believe that anyone particularly made me feel this way, it was just something that made me aware of my race when usually it’s something I don’t necessarily think about. 

So, I went and decided to just wear the ‘wrong’ feeling costumes anyways, it was all pretend and I could do anything I wanted. 

But this year, I decided to do something different. I did some research and found out that during the Elizabethan period, the Ming dynasty would have been in power. I did some research online and found myself a Ming Dynasty costume. 

It was everything I had ever wanted. I felt pretty, but also I felt like I belonged. I felt like I was able to share my culture and what was beautiful about that time period with people who didn’t know. A lot of people stopped me to ask about my costume! I wish I had known a little bit more about accurate construction or really, anything about the Ming Dynasty, but I still felt right in it. 

There are lots of cultures that existed during the Elizabethan era and I encourage any People of Color to share that when they go to a Renaissance festival next time! I would love to see more costumes, maybe Armenian or Turkish or Mongolian! 

Next year I want to take this as a starting point and try to incorporate more elements of fantasy. There are lots of Chinese dramas that take period costumes and throw some fun fantasy elements into it. Here are some cool examples:


Joe Biden + Guide to Troubled Birds 

Chinese Internet Slang


  • 1314: “For ever”, usually preceded by a phrase such as “I love you” or whatever. 1314 (pinyin: yīsānyīsì) represents 一生一世 “one life, one world” (pinyin: yīshēng yīshì).
  • 233“laughter" 233 (pinyin:èr sān sān) represents 哈哈哈 (pinyin: hā hā hā).
  • 4242: “Yes” or “It is”, 4242 (pinyin: sìshí'èr sìshí'èr) represents 是啊是啊 (pinyin: shìa shìa).
  • 520: “I love you”. 520 (pinyin: wǔ'èrlíng) represents 我爱你 (pinyin: wǒ ài nǐ).
  • 555: “(crying)”. 555 (pinyin: wǔwǔwǔ) represents 呜呜呜 (pinyin: wūwūwū) the sound of tearful crying.
  • 666: “doing something really well” 666 (pinyin: liùliùliù) represents 溜溜溜 (pinyin:liùliùliù ).
  • 7451 or 7456: “I’m angry”. 7451 (pinyin: qīsìwǔyī) or 7456 (pinyin: qīsìwǔliù) represents 气死我了 (pinyin: qìsǐ wǒle)
  • 748: “Go and die!”, 748 (pinyin: qīsìbā):represents 去死吧 (pinyin: qùsǐba), the equivalent of “Get lost!”, or “Go to hell!”
  • 88: “Bye bye” (goodbye). 88 (pinyin: bābā) represents “bye bye" 
  • 995: "Help”, “Save me!” 995 (pinyin: jiǔjiǔwǔ) represents 救救我 (pinyin: jiùjiù wǒ).
Reading in different languages
  • Spanish: couldn't be easier, we can tell exactly how to pronounce a word based on its spelling
  • Russian: ok, we have to memorize where the stress falls on every word because that changes pronunciation completely, but other than that we're good!
  • Arabic: ok the vowels aren't really written but at least we have the consonants so we can figure out how to say it with practice and memorization
  • Chinese: well now we have to memorize the pronunciation of every character that gives us pretty much no clues for how to say it, but at least every character only has one reading

Happy to say I have finally graduated with a bachelors degree in Chinese and Japanese after four years of difficult classes, immersion programs, and two study abroad experiences in Nanjing and Nagoya. I know you are all here for art, but I wanted to thank you all for supporting me nonetheless 💕