Several problems of Chinese oil paper umbrellas at present
The problem of making and buying oil paper umbrellas
Most of the umbrellas on the market today are industrial products based on the nylon steel frame umbrellas developed by the British in the 19th century, which are easy to make, inexpensive and extremely popular. This is not the case with oil paper umbrellas, which require more than 70 steps (86 in some cases) to make one umbrella by traditional methods. It takes more than 70 steps (86 steps in some cases) to make an oil paper umbrella, and dozens of steps, from selecting the bamboo to applying oil to drying, are all done by hand. The process of making a traditional oil paper umbrella is very tedious, and all the processes are the work of the maker, but it is also the practice that limits its mass production. In the past, this was something that future generations had to inherit and carry forward, but nowadays more and more people have to give up this traditional art because of the pressure of life. At the same time, a good traditional oil paper umbrella is really expensive, people tend to choose the same function and lower price side, which makes the oil paper umbrella in competition with the low-priced modern industrial umbrella in the disadvantage.
people have low awareness of paper umbrellas
If you ask an older grandmother, she must know something and may be able to tell a romantic story, but if you ask the children of the 90s and 00s, I’m afraid you will only receive numerous shaking heads. People who don’t even know what an oil paper umbrella is, why ask about the history, the method and the culture? They may not have the opportunity to touch that living artistic treasure, or perhaps no one has told them about it, and their parents may not even know. This is a big problem, what the previous generation did not understand, can not be introduced to their own offspring, the consequences are most likely to be the silent extinction of certain things. People, if you don’t teach them to speak, they don’t know the language, and it’s the same with culture. If something is never mentioned, how can a person seek it out and explore it? It is in this way that the knowledge of the oil paper umbrella is blurred and gradually forgotten.
People place low value on traditional handicraft culture
Here is the example of the oil paper umbrella. The only umbrella manufacturing process that is currently listed as a national intangible cultural heritage is the Fengshui umbrella, but it is not only the Fengshui umbrella that is fading from view, other traditional umbrella manufacturing processes are also in danger of becoming extinct. People are trying to preserve traditional culture and inherit from their ancestors, but are they doing enough? In the case of weddings, more and more people are concerned about the size of the banquet and the number of guests they invite, and the red oil paper umbrella with its beautiful meaning has long been forgotten. A mere name of non-heritage, only to support a very small number of people to continue the heritage, this kind of importance is not as much as some economic areas of one percent. In some cases, the national attitude toward traditional skills is far less than that of Japan as a country.