Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Green Hat Scandal

If you are a man in China, don’t wear a green hat.  You will be mocked, ridiculed, and teased to the point where your man card will be indefinitely suspended.   You will look like a fool and your buddies will laugh behind your back. 

After explaining St. Patrick’s Day traditions to a male colleague, he insisted,
“I WILL NOT WEAR A GREEN HAT!” When asked why, he just wilted away back to his work and mumbled something about wearing green hats. 

I did a little research as to why. 

If you are a man sporting a green hat in China, you are announcing to the world that your woman is cheating on you.  Not only is she cheating on you, you are stupid enough to stay with her while she is having her affair(s).

There are many theories as to the origin of this belief.

One site claims that back in the olden days, a businessman and his tai tai (housewife) lived in China.  The tai tai would have flings with a local tailor when her husband would travel on business for extended times.  The tailor wanted to know when he could hook up with the tai tai, so he made the businessman a green hat.  The day before each business trip, the tai tai would make her husband wear the green hat (because it looked so good on the businessman) and the tailor would know she was available the next night.   Subtle, huh?

Another site claims once there was a bored housewife who would hire men to keep her “entertained” during the day while her husband was at work.  One day the husband came home early, so her entertainer slipped quickly out the back door and forgot his green hat.  The next morning, the husband left the house in a daze and accidentally wore the lover’s green hat to work.  Many of his colleagues figured out the scandal pretty quickly.  Talk about bad luck.

I also read in ancient times, family members of sex workers had to wear green scarves.  

So, if you are male and plan on living in China, don’t wear green hats.  Also don’t give men green hats.  If you do, it may be seen as bad news rather than a kind gesture.

Fortunately the green hat rule doesn't apply to women, so I will continue my St. Patrick's Day tradition of shocking my kids with a green wig.  May the luck of the Irish be with everyone!