Saturday, April 25, 2009
Why do old Chinese people walk with hands behind their backs?
Hands, San Francisco Chinatown, April 2007.
Spend a day observing people in Chinatown, and you will see them: elderly Chinese men and women walking slowly, deliberately, eyes on the ground, shoulders hunched forward, with both hands clasped tightly behind their backs. I've asked friends who would notice this sort of thing, bugged co-workers from Hong Kong and the Mainland who all went "hmmm," googled and Ask Jeeves'd for a satisfying reason for this, but nothing. "It's cultural" (vague). "Back support" (but I don't see old Irish people doing it). "It's carried over from working in the rice paddies" (did you just pull that answer from your ass?).
So what do you think?