camouflage is peasant attire

Somewhere between Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La, Yunnan province, May 2008

I snapped this during a bumpy bus ride through the window, hence the faded, almost nostalgic quality of the photo. I’m not exactly sure where this was in Yunnan, but fairly certain it’s on one of my long bus rides between Dali and Lijiang, or Lijiang and Shangri-La.

Camouflage clothing like this is worn by men all over the countryside. His outfit distinctly marks him as a rural person, a peasant, something Chinese urbanites try to avoid like the plague. This is a country on the rise, and in small towns across China you’ll see new arrivals eagerly shedding their camouflage apparel for clothing that pronounces then as modern, successful city folk.


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