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What should Mo wear for Nobel ceremony?

By Leeann Li  (Shanghai Daily)

09:49, November 16, 2012

Chinese novelist Mo Yan has sparked an online debate about what he should wear at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on December 10.

>>>Related: No gold medal in literature

China's first Nobel laureate has ordered a tailor-made tuxedo and is learning to waltz because Swedish king and queen will also attend, the Qilu Evening News in Mo's home province of Shandong reported. His wife and daughter will go with him and their gowns are being made.

Many Chinese netizens are unhappy with Mo's sartorial decision some have even tried different Chinese-style clothes on him in edited portraits of the author, saying such clothes could make him stand out.

One photo showed Mo in a loose-fitting robe worn by the Chinese for over 3,000 years before the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Another showed him in Mao suit, a tunic suit introduced by China's revolutionary forerunner Dr Sun Yat-sen as the national dress. It is known in the West as an icon of China and an Eastern counterpart to the Western business suit from 1950s to early 1980s.

"Mo represents the Chinese writers who hardly ever wear a tuxedo. If he dresses the same as others, he can hardly show unique Chinese style," an Internet user named Linsa said.

Young author Zhang Yiyi backed up the commenters, noting that Kawabata Yasunari, Japan's first Noble-winning writer, wore a kimono when he received the prize in 1968, Youth Daily reported.

Some called on people to respect Mo's choice. Others said Chinese writers dress casually and so does Mo, so he can represent Chinese literature by simply wearing his daily clothing, the paper said.

Mo, at the center of the public discussion, has made no response. The low-profile man has asked for the nation's "Mo-mania" to go away.

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