#1211 – The Red Dress Hash

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Ladies and Gentlemen of the Guangzhou Hash,

You receive this hashvertisement already today so that you’ll have enough time to make all necessary arrangements before the special event on Saturday.

Those of you who only joined us during the past 12 months haven’t probably yet realized how dearly the tradition of the Red Dress Run is held by the old timers on the Guangzhou Hash, and how dearly it will soon be held by you, too. Hence, it’s not only  my honor but rather my duty to enlighten you.

And in order to make this job as easy – or even easier – as possible, please find below a highly revealing article on this subject. It was published in one of the first issues of the In the Red magazine; at a time when its makers were still trying to make a difference on the English language magazine scene in Guangzhou by occasionally displaying patterns of journalistic behavior. Those days are long gone, but the article is still as informative and up-to-date as if it were made up just this morning.

The mismanagement has decided to continue the support for the Orphan Education Society, the charity organization mentioned in the article. There is also a link to their entirely Chinese homepage at the bottom of the article. So please bring some extra cash for the poor kiddos.

In order to get an idea about what to wear on such a classy occasion check out the attached pictures from last year’s run.


Quote from ‘In the Red’:

On a hot and humid day in May 2011, a local TV station aired an interview with the elderly Mrs. Wong, who had just returned from the Long Yan Dong reservoir, where she fetches fresh spring water.

‘I had finished my break, and was carrying my bamboo pole with the water containers hanging from it’, the visibly annoyed woman reported to the instigative journalist on the scene, ‘when I heard a noise coming from the undergrowth. A few moments later, two large and hairy gweilos broke through the bushes, sweating like pigs, and gooey flour smeared all over their bodies and faces. Even more terrifying though was the fact that they were wearing red evening dresses, which didn’t even fit them. They looked at me with a mad grin andto my great reliefspared meand then set off. I felt it was safer to let them get a bit away from me and so I sat down again. Butoh noI hadn’t even shut my mouth yet, when all hell broke loose. Forty or so of the red cross-dressers appeared, shouting something unintelligible obscenities I presumethat sounded like ‘On On’, or’ Ice the Hares!’ Later though, I was told that these creatures were not dangerous, but merely wanted to play. Go figure!!!’

What happened to the indignant Mrs. Wong happens to many unaware residents, every time the Guangzhou Hash House Harriers celebrate their Annual Red Dress Run. The flamboyant red dresses and costumes that the hashers wear to show off are certainly worth staring at. Even though the Ladies of the Hash have worked very hard on their outfits – this is the one day of the year when the men dominate the Hash fashion, and the air in the circle is filled with their giggling and excited highpitched chattering. One of the hares, still wearing his gooey red pajamas, is now carrying a cute orange parasol. Another hasher, a 100kg man, is wearing a ballerina skirt, his bushy dark leg hair sticking out through bright red stockings. Two guys, who got the same red blouse that had been on sale at their favorite factory outlet on Zhanxi Lu, start a cat fight, while a stocky hasher begins to feel claustrophobic in a sexy red top an unknown girl left in his apartment a few years ago. It’s the same top he had already worn in previous years, and year after year the sexy top seems to have shrunk. Now it’s about four sizes too small for this rather large fellow. Others make suggestive remarks about the proud wearer of a slutty shine-through negligee, and whistle after a young local hasher who is dressed in a traditional, figure-hugging red qipao. Like everyone else here, he, too, is hopeful to be voted for Best Red Dressed Hasher.

No one knows where the ancient Hash tradition of running in red dresses originates, except of course for Wikipedia. Nevertheless, for real hashers this event isn’t only about showing off, or startling the locals, or ridiculing ourselvesit is foremost a charity event. As such the Red Dress Run is celebrated by many Hash Kennels all around the world. Last year, we collected money for two hospital patients from neighborhoods we often run in. These patients couldn’t afford to pay for much needed dialysis treatment. The Guangzhou Hash donated the entire Red Dress run fees to help them. Individual hashers were even more generous, and at the end of the day we donated over 6,000 RMB. This year, the Hash is going to support the Orphan Education Society of Guangdong, an organization run by dedicated volunteers who provide the unfortunate children with food, clothes, study material and much more.

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