Friday, August 06, 2010

Costumes in Hong Kong

Last night, while I wasn't having beer wiped off my lap by a worried looking waiter, I was learning about the airsoft community in Hong Kong.  There's lots of people who enjoy shooting one another with compressed-air pellet guns.  Back in the UK, Jason Stopadoodledoo went to a motocross shop and came back with several high-powered pistols, and we spent an evening in the pub beer garden from the second season of Peep Show, shooting unlucky victims in the back side with pellets.  But we never took it as far as dressing up in militaria.

In Hong Kong, of course, things are a little different.  The general tendency is to put on US Gulf War II uniforms, which seems more than a little bad taste, given that war hasn't really finished yet (despite Dubya's 'Mission Accomplished' announcement all those years ago).  But that's not the height of bad taste.

Not when there's an entire coterie of Hong Kong Chinese dressing up in Waffen-SS and Afrika Korps regalia.

To be fair, Hitler was not very tall and had pretty shabby facial hair, but I don't think that's enough to justify any sympathies amongst the Chinese.  He was a vegetarian, after all, which isn't going to score any points over here, and probably more importantly, didn't these people get the memo about Nazis and their ideas about racial purity?

Not that it's just people in Hong Kong; there's a roaring trade in Mein Kampf in India, and there's Mongolian neo-Nazis too - which seems sublimely ridiculous, given what happened to them when the Nazis encountered them in World War II.

I'm not saying that Chinese people shouldn't dress up as Nazis because they're Chinese.  I think it's pretty dumb whoever you are.  But it seems particularly daft here.  (Maybe somebody can point out to me a troupe of Jewish Wehrmacht re-enactors, but I think I'd be waiting a while on that.)

Apart from anything else, when you're in a sub-tropical climate, is lots of black leather and wool such a good idea?  Aren't there some dictators from a South American country that would have more suitable uniforms for you?


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