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November 6, 2009

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Daughter put volunteer on anti-PJ course

YU Shihe, 58, used to wear her pajamas when going to the wet market 200 meters from her Hongkou District neighborhood.

But one day she was stopped short by her 20-year-old daughter, about to go to the market with her.

"She said she would not go with me if I dressed like that," the mother said. "She said I looked rather odd."

The daughter's words had an effect. When Yu heard about the neighborhood's committee's campaign against pajamas on the street, she signed up to volunteer.

She helped organize lectures with residents on manners and patrol her neighborhood, asking pajama-wearers to change clothes when venturing out.

"In fact, I didn't know what to say at first because most people I needed to persuade were friends," she said. "I didn't think I could say, 'It's not civilized to dress like this,' to them."

Yu said she tried to talk about clothes and fashion with her friends. At first, there was little obvious effect, but as time went by, she found her friends wearing pajamas less often.

"Perhaps every woman is eager to chase beauty," she said. "When they saw me dressing relatively formally, while they wore pajamas, they may have thought they weren't as good-looking as me. So next time they'd want to change."

Compared with women, men were harder to persuade, because, as Yu said, men thought comfort is as important as appearance. And if she talked them about the pajamas, men might get furious, thinking she was being intrusive.

"In fact, up to now I still don't know how to talk with them on the matter," she said. "Maybe I'll talk to their wives to solve the problem."


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