The article originally published at Marta Tibaldi’s blog
Republished thanks to the courtesy of the author
The Chinese wedding dress represents an interesting phenomenon of cross culturality. During the traditional Chinese wedding the bride wears a quipao, a flowery red dress, a sumptuous embroidered cap (xiapei) e and a headgear rich of jewels, fringes and precious stones (fengguan).
Since China has met the Western world, the Chinese brides were fascinated by the Western weddings with the white dress and possibly with a train, even if the white color clashes irremediably with their culture: white is indeed the color for the Chinese funerals (would you imagine a Western bride wearing black?)
The Chinese brides dealt successfully with this issue through a creative cultural contamination: they will wear three wedding dresses. In the morning, the traditional flowery red quipao, at lunch the Western white dress possibly with the train, in the evening the third dress, long and Western style but finally red! To the Western eye this red wedding dress produces an amusing effect of cultural displacement that comes from an unexpected cultural contamination.
A similar search of creative cross-cultural contamination is needed in the analytical field when training new Jungian analysts in East Asia. Analytical Psychology cannot be exported tout court in its Western forms – it would be as if we asked the Chinese brides to wear only the white dress of their funerals. Fashionable for Western style, that dress would inevitably clash with their habits and traditions and would not keep together continuity and change.
In the same way as the three wedding dresses, the analytical practice itself needs to find that third red wedding dress, Western in shape but Eastern in color, a sort of creative mixed-race, springing from the unique and unrepeatable meet of two cultures that look at one another with respect and pleasure, generating together brand new forms.
Copyright 2015 Marta Tibaldi