Correspondence report Hong Kong – between society and habit
Have you ever wondered why so many people in Asia regularly wear a face mask?
Well, the face mask or mouthguard has always been part of the public image not only in Asian cities but also in the countryside – and there are good reasons for this, which can be explained culturally as well as demographically and socially.
When you look at Asia, you quickly realize that the continent is very diverse and that the demographics, lifestyles and cultures of the individual countries are also very different. But when we see pictures of people wearing face masks in Europe, we immediately think of China. To Hong Kong, to Japan to Korea or Taiwan. And these are exactly the countries in Asia where wearing face or breathing masks is common, not only in times like the recent Covid-19 pandemic.
There are good reasons for wearing a mask
There are many reasons why mask wearing is widespread here. One is the strong industrialization of countries with a correspondingly high production capacity and many factories, incredibly heavy and dense traffic, corresponding to a lot of smog and relatively high air pollution – this is where masks help to protect against the particles in the air we breathe! On the other hand, the countries mentioned above have had a high population density compared to Europe for centuries. With a view to metropolitan regions such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong or Tokyo, it quickly becomes clear that the risk of infection from even less dangerous pathogens than Covid-19 can be very easy and fast here. For this reason, a culture was established in Asia decades ago to reduce the risk of infection, especially outside the home, from influenza, a simple cold or viruses in general by wearing a respirator! This culture is increasingly reflected in style – in addition to the original purpose of the mask, it also serves as a statement today. As a style object and accessory, expression of mood or as a social distance provider.
“I wear a mask so I won’t infect anyone when I’m sick!”Ning Yan, primary school teacher
In the meantime I have lived for many years in China, Hong Kong and Asia and have got to know the breathing mask as a constant companion. A few days ago I asked a Chinese friend why she usually wears a mask and what she associates with the mouthguard. You could see that many pictures and situations passed through her inner eye. She pondered briefly and then answered very firmly: “I wear a mask so that I don’t infect anyone when I am sick! The answer shows very clearly how society is thought in Asia. The interesting thing about this answer is clear – first of all, respiratory protection is not worn to protect oneself against infection, but to protect the community, which plays an immensely important role, especially in the countries mentioned above. For this reason, unlike in Western countries, it is frowned upon to place oneself above one’s neighbor and not to protect him by wearing a mask.
Much has been learned from the SARS epidemic!
When you walk through Hong Kong these days, you quickly notice how empty the city is here – compared to times when no virus is circulating and compared to pictures full of subways and streets that we know from Asian megacities on TV. But the interesting thing is that this is currently happening in Hong Kong without an official lockdown. How can that be? Not only Hong Kong, but especially China and Taiwan have learned a lot from the SARS epidemic 2002 (8000 infections vs. CoVid-19 >530.000 infections, as of 27th March) and most of them have experienced this epidemic themselves! Here it becomes clear once again how much society is moving closer together in such times and tries to get the situation under control together. As a result, many people find themselves in personal isolation out of concern for their own health, but rather out of mutual protection.
And of course there are exceptions. For example, there are isolated passers-by who are not wearing masks. Therefore the more relevant question is however probably not, why so many humans in Asia carry regularly a mouth guard, but rather, why at present nearly nobody carries none!
Everyday accessory and polite protective measure
In Asia, the former protective measure has long since become an everyday accessory. Fashionable and often unusual, with or without print, with additional equipment such as pollen filters or favorite scents – and always with you. Because wearing a mask has several advantages:
- Finally eating garlic without upsetting the other person with bad breath.
- No need for make-up or shaving – put on the mask.
- Getting up on the wrong side of the bed, with a mask you can hide the trouble around the corners of your mouth.
- You feel insecure and want to save face – wearing a mask also gives a feeling of security.
miamasuku® – Japan meets Italy
The word miamasuku® is an Italian-Japanese mixture and comes from the Italian word mia = mine and the Japanese word masuku マスク = mask. miamasuku® simply means my mask. In Japan, people have been wearing mouth and nose protection (masukus) for over 100 years out of courtesy and respect, in order to stem the spread of diseases. There, wearing a mask has become a natural part of everyday life. We associate style, design, elegance and quality with Italy. miamasuku® as a brand originates precisely from this combination of politeness or respect and Italian influenced, fashionable individuality. As the wearer of the masks you are the focus of our product development. For you we combine the desired lightness with urban charm and reserved elegance. With miamasuku® we want to offer you a mask that makes it easy for you to wear it in everyday life.
Because with time the longing for a mask that you really like to wear grows. You will experience the longed-for lightness of our masks when you put them on for the first time. Unlike any other mask you have ever worn, the miamasuku® nestles up against your face. Stylish in every detail and at the same time restrained is our demand on our mask design. Our miamasuku masks fit every upscale and everyday outfit and every face without stealing the show from the important things in life.
10 Good reasons to wear miamasuku
- You only know stuffy fabric masks and would like to be able to breathe deeply with a mask.
- You want a mask that fits properly and can be individually adjusted to your face and head size.
- You want a mask for your children that they can wear all day long without any shortness of breath.
- No microplastic comes in front of your nose, but only 100% non-toxic cotton.
- You want quality and not mass-produced goods from Asia, because you rely on handmade products from Germany and Europe.
- You are against piles of garbage from disposable face masks and for washable and therefore reusable masks.
- You want to be paid a high quality product at a fair price for fair wages.
- You want to look good and feel light even with a mask.
- You don’t want to be stuck in lockdown again in autumn
- You love your children, but please do not go back to home schooling.
Convince yourself and order your first miamasuku® mask