So recently I started wearing this beanie that one of the teachers who likes to knit made for me. It is just a normal green hat nothing special but in China nothing is at it seems.
I had been getting this snickering when I walked into class and kept seeing students pulling their camera phones out trying to be slick and sneak a picture of me. Normally, (it is normal by the way) when they do this I will try to embarrass them and make wacky poses. But, it seemed the wacky poses were only adding to their excitement.
Strange as it may seem, I couldn't seem to shake this. So, I kind of forgot about it. Then yesterday one of my Chinese teaching colleagues asked me if I knew anything about the green hat in China.
Here we go I thought, what is going to be this time? Apparently she told me, that no Chinese men would ever wear a green hat, even the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had changed the color of the hats their soldiers wore. Now, if something can get the PLA to change it habits it must be big.
Turns out that there is a saying in Chinese that goes like this 戴绿帽子 or (dai lu mao zi) "to wear a green hat". Apparently it means that your wife or girlfriend is cheating on you, or basically you are a cuckold. Crazy Chinese...apparently in the Ming and Yuan dynasties men whose female relatives were prostitutes would have to wear green head coverings.
So the lesson is don't give a man a green hat in China unless you are trying to tell him that his wife/girlfriend is cheating on him.