WEEKLY

SCHOOL DAYS ONCE MORE
回到校園時

中學畢業以後,對校園的記憶亦逐漸變得模糊了。也許你愛讀書,也許你不愛,然而至少你仍會惦記下課的鐘聲、滿是裂縫的操場、吵吵嚷嚷的課室,以及──那套瑟縮在衣櫃最深處的校服。每套校服,就是青春的最好證據。香港教育大學內的博物館現正舉行「香港校服今昔」展覽,館內陳列多款經典校服,令人不禁回想起青澀懵懂的少年時代。

重拾青蔥歲月
推開博物館的大門,右手邊是一塊長長的黑板,上面繪有不同的字句與圖畫,予人似曾相識之感。每逢被老師叫到黑板前寫上答案,我們總會顯得戰戰兢兢、步履維艱;另一邊廂,趁老師不在課堂,大家便會胡亂塗鴉,甚或展開激烈的「粉刷大戰」,讓快樂隨着粉末飄揚空中……種種回憶,頓時在腦海裏蕩漾。而對於一眾莘莘學子而言,除了黑板之外,文具同樣有舉足輕重的地位。黑板旁邊有數個小型儲物櫃,展示一堆喚起共鳴的文具,如單行筆記本、美少女戰士筆盒、多色粉彩等,這些統統都是我們成長的印記。

繞過黑板,眼前是一套套前所未見的舊式校服。原來,校服的起源可追溯至晚清時期。當時西式教育會開始滲入華人社會,不僅引進了新的教學模式和課程內容,更要求學生穿着劃一的服裝。加上第二次世界大戰後,香港的適齡學童人數大增,推進了學校的發展,遂令校服文化慢慢植根於香港。由於香港沒有法律管制學生必須穿校服,也沒有規範校服的款式,故香港的校服文化非常多元化,鮮活地體現了辦學理念、服裝潮流、社會及經濟狀況等。

百年人事
雖然歷史教科書甚少提到服飾與時代的關係,但觀看昔日的校服套裝,猶如翻開封塵多年的相簿,可讓我們洞察出歷史的痕跡。在三、四十年代,許多學校均採用中山裝為校服,以表現當時的民族精神,這無疑是要向孫中山先生致敬。步入一九五零年代,香港工業發展尤為蓬勃,因此不少學校把校服換成工人褲,緊貼時代的腳步。到了一九六零年代,香港的水塘儲水量嚴重不足,多次出現「制水」的苦況。為節省用水,有學校更改短女生的校裙,並採用無袖設計。一葉落知天下秋,校服物料、款式上的些微改動,均揭示了教育模式乃至時代的迭變。

歷代經典
現在談及校服,我們都雀躍萬分,很想再次變回學生哥。不過,以前我們都恃着年少輕狂,故意觸碰校規的底線──女生擅自把裙子改短,男生則不願繫上恤衫的第一顆鈕扣。大概是「隔離飯香」的心理,我們都十分羨慕其他學校的校服。是次展覽亦有幾個大受歡迎的校服款式,包括以清朝滿族婦女衣服發展而成的旗袍、洋溢異國風情的格子裙,還有風靡少男少女的水手服。其實,單是一套樸素的校服,已能呈現文化的脈絡,訴說不同時代的故事。

任憑時光荏苒,有關校服的記憶,總是如此歷久彌新。

撰文:王以珞

美術:王曉澄

After graduating from high school, our memories of school keep vanishing from time to time. Maybe you like studying, or maybe you don’t, but you would probably miss the bell signaling the end of class, the cracked playground, the vibrant, busy classroom, as well as the school uniform being cooped up at the bottom of the wardrobe. Each school uniform is undoubtedly the best evidence of youth. The exhibition “Hong Kong School Uniforms - Past and Present” is now being held in the Hong Kong Museum of Education, where a number of school uniforms are displayed to let us reminisce about the time of youthful indiscretion and inexperience.

Back to the Salad Days
Upon opening the door of the museum, a long blackboard painted with different characters and drawings quickly leapt out at me, and it gave off a sense of familiarity. Whenever we were asked to write our answers on the blackboard, we would be a bit panic at first, then cautiously walked to the blackboard; on the other hand, when the teachers were not around, we would doodle all over it, or even start a fight with the blackboard duster, trying to have some wild time in the dusty atmosphere…All these memories flooded back into my mind. Besides blackboard, stationery also played an important part in students’ lives. Next to the blackboard were a few lockers which displayed the old stationery, such as singled line notebooks, Sailor Moon’s pencil box, and boxes of pastels. They are all the traces of our growth.

Passing through the blackboard area, I saw an array of old school uniforms in front of me. The history of school uniforms can be traced back to late Qing Dynasty. At that time, the introduction of western education system did not only bring new teaching modes and school curriculums to Chinese society, but it also fostered the culture of school uniforms. In addition, after the WWII, there was a rapid increase in the number of school-age children, which further promoted the development of schools, hence deepening the culture of school uniforms. Since the wearing of school uniforms is not governed by legislation, and the style of the uniforms is not specified, the culture of school uniforms in Hong Kong is full of diversity. They vividly exemplifies the school missions, fashion styles, social and economic environment.

In a Hundred Years’ Time
Although history textbooks seldom mention the relationship between clothing styles and eras, looking at the school uniforms may allow us to find the traces of history. During 1930s to 1940s, many schools adopted the style of Chinese tunic suit as their school uniforms to pay tribute to Dr. Sun Yat-sen and show a certain kind of patriotic sentiment. In 1950s, the industrial development in Hong Kong was thriving, therefore some schools changed their uniforms into overalls styles. In 1960s, the storage position of reservoirs in Hong Kong was severely inadequate that the government had to impose water rationing for many times. To conserve water, some schools even shortened the skirts and adopted a sleeveless design. We can see that a school uniform is a straw in the wind, the small changes in the fabric and style can reveal the transformation of education modes and the epochs.

Traditional Classic
When we talk about school uniforms, we will feel very excited, hoping to become students again. However, we were too young and frivolous back when we were students, and that was why we would attempt to break the school rules by shortening the length of the skirts, or refusing to do up the first button on the shirts. As a saying goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side”, we always loved the school uniforms of other schools more than ours. In this exhibition, some popular school uniforms are displayed, including Qipao, plaid skirts and tailor outfits. In fact, each school uniform can tell us a story about the time and place where it exists.

No matter how fast time flies, our memories of school uniforms will remain intact and accessible.

Text: Elok Wong

Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #223

SCHOOL DAYS ONCE MORE

 

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