Tailors trav­eled na­tion­wide for se­cret task

China Daily (Canada) - - V-DAY COMMEMORATION - By ZHANG YU andWANG WEI in Shi­ji­azhuang

Tailors from a lead­ing uni­form sup­plier fanned across the coun­try to com­plete a unique pro­ject for the Sept 3 mil­i­tary pa­rade that marks the 70th an­niver­sary of the end of World War II and the vic­tory in the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion (193745).

They needed to col­lect the mea­sure­ments of hun­dreds of de­scen­dants of vet­er­ans of the anti-fas­cist war, who were to make up a spe­cial pa­rade-day unit.

About two months ago, Xu Li was go­ing about her reg­u­lar work at Ji­hua 3502 Pro­fes­sional Gar­ment Co when she was or­dered to visit eight cities in four days to mea­sure nine vet­er­ans’ de­scen­dants for their cloth­ing sizes.

The de­scen­dants were to com­pose one of the 40 ground units that marched through Tian’an­men Square on Thurs­day. But they were scat­tered across the coun­try and weren’t told about their role un­til later.

It seemed a dif­fi­cult mis­sion to ob­tain so many mea­sure­ments in such a short time. To make it more chal­leng­ing, Xu had to keep her pur­pose a se­cret. She had to per­suade them to al­low her to do her work and con­vince them she had no ul­te­rior mo­tive.

“They thought I was a fraud who­planned to gain ben­e­fits,” Xu said. “Although I fi­nally con­vinced them of my harm­less­ness, they still had se­ri­ous doubts about my pur­pose. Some of them didn’t let me in their houses.”

In the end, she ob­tained some of the mea­sure­ments at train sta­tions or other places out­doors.

Af­ter breath­ing a sigh of re­lief when she ob­tained their con­sent, she found another chal­lenge. The de­scen­dants were older than 70, and some of them could not stand up straight.

“To en­sure the ac­cu­racy of mea­sure­ments, I needed to take about 10 sizes from head to feet for each of the de­scen­dants,” Xu said.

Xu wasn’t the only one tasked to find the vet­er­ans’ de­scen­dants. Nearly 100 other tailors also took mea­sure­ments in 17 cities around the coun­try.

Each of the de­scen­dants was shown sev­eral types of clothes from which they could choose, said Zhang Fenglin, deputy gen­eral man­ager of the com­pany, which pro­vided more than 90 per­cent of the cloth­ing for the mil­i­tary pa­rade.

“See­ing them wear­ing the clothes we made, we felt great glory,” Zhang said.

Con­tact the writ­ers through zhangyu1@chi­nadaily.

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