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The Culture of Masks in China

mascarillas en china

There have been many images of thousands of people wearing masks in China. However, in European countries like Spain, we see many people in the streets without their masks on.

This happens for several reasons that I will explain, but the one that interests us most is the custom of face masks in Asia.

Do you have a mask? 😷

Before the pandemic we’re experiencing, most Chinese would have said yes. Europeans, on the other hand, did not used to have them, unless they had PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for their work.

The WHO 🏥

For this reason, WHO has preferred that masks be reserved for health workers and those who are infected, who need them most.

masks for the chinese face
In China not only doctors wear masks.

For this reason, he said that its use was not necessary, while in China anyone who does not wear it on the street or at work is automatically sanctioned.

The custom

This year, for the first time, many Europeans are faced with putting on a mask. We take it and we put it on upside down, turning the tires over, it falls off… And when we have it on properly we think “I can’t breathe with this“.

It’s obvious that the chinese used to put it on before, but… Why?

Colds 🤒

They had a habit of putting them on when they had a cold or any illness. In China, the population is very dense and if they were sick and without a mask, they would spread their cold to someone.

Asians tend to be very concerned about others, so they have been put through the wringer since childhood. Plus, that way no one can see that red, swollen nose.


In China, people with pollen allergies also tend to wear them in the spring. That way, they have less contact with pollen and fewer allergic symptoms.

Pollution 🏭

In China’s most populous cities, the air they breathe is highly polluted. On critical days it is advisable to wear masks to prevent respiratory diseases.

The designer Wei Chao, created masks accompanied by anti-pollution T-shirts for Beijing’s “fashion week” with words like “breathe” or “greenhouse effect“.

They are in fashion

In China, many designers have created masks with a unique design and brought them to the catwalks. In Europe it is now beginning to be introduced as a fashion item as well. An example is the Gucci parade or the Marina Ferre designs.

The truth is that they give a point of mystery to your look and that they are one more accessory in the world of fashion.