Woman turned away from Covid-19 testing centre in China as she was wearing a kimono

She was wearing her work uniform.

Kayla Wong | August 27, 2021, 08:13 PM

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A woman who arrived at a Covid-19 testing facility in China's Xiamen city on Aug. 23 was turned away as she was wearing a Japanese traditional costume.

"Chinese should wear Chinese clothes"

In a video clip that was widely circulated on Chinese social media and covered in local media, a woman dressed in a kimono-like costume was seen leaving the place while bystanders commented on her appearance.

According to Jiu Pai News, a man could be heard saying, "How can you wear such a thing, Chinese people should wear Chinese clothes."

At least two centre staffers could be heard telling her to change out of her outfit first before coming back to get tested.

The woman appeared to comply with the instructions as she nodded and signed an "Ok" gesture while walking away.

Woman works in a Japanese restaurant

A spokesperson from Okura Nikko Hotel in Xiamen, where the woman worked, later clarified that the outfit she was wearing is a uniform from the hotel's Japanese restaurant, The Cover reported.

The spokesperson further said that staffers at their Japanese restaurant are not allowed to wear their uniform outside of the hotel premises, and that for breaking the rules to exchange for "a moment of convenience", the management would deal with the woman accordingly.

A fellow staff member from the hotel also told The Cover that her colleague, who was an intern who recently joined the company, had received notification to go for the testing between 2pm to 4pm.

As the testing site was just "a few hundred metres" away from the hotel, she had then decided to go get tested quickly in her uniform to save time.

Chinese Weibo users react

The incident has sparked divided opinions among Chinese social media users. The majority of commenters, however, felt that the woman's outfit should not have mattered at all.

Several expressed their sympathy for her as well, saying that she was likely rushing for her testing amid a busy workday.

"She seemed to have made use of her free time during work to go get tested quickly. Now look at what has happened, she couldn't get tested, and the hotel had also discovered her flouting of the rules."

(Sarcastically) "No double standards please, anyone wearing a Western suit or Western clothing is not allowed to get jabbed."

"Why pick on her when it's her work uniform. When it comes to criticising our own people, people seem to be able to come up with many different ways to do so."

"Do we have to wear a Chinese traditional costume after getting vaccinated?"

"Chinese netizens are the obstacle to the country's internationalisation."

"She probably didn't do so deliberately, and could have simply went without changing as she wanted to save time. After this debacle, are people going to get scolded in the future as well for driving Japanese-made cars?"

"(These people) only dare to scold a girl, but wouldn't dare to wreck a Japanese car on the streets, we usually use a word with two characters to describe this sort of people, trash."

"There are even rules over what to wear?"

"The ones making things difficult for low-wage workers are also low-wage workers."

"No one is at fault. The fault lies with "little" Japan who hasn't reflected on its crimes and apologised till this day."

A small number of commenters, however, took the side of the centre staff, and agreed that the woman should not have showed up in a kimono.

"You could tell from the comments on the original post what their purpose is. There are two outcomes from this, which are to either dilute the notion that Japanese culture is invading us, or to prove that Chinese expression of nationalism is illogical and deserves to be criticised. Should people arrive at these sorts of conclusions, they have won."

"She did so on purpose, anyone with a bit of common sense wouldn't do so? Look at her laughing in the video, how exasperating."

Top image via Weibo 

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