Duanxiu (断袖)

The translation of the Chinese expression Duanxiu (断袖) is “cut sleeve” and it is another classic expression whose origin dates back to the time when sexual diversity was not a problem in China. The story behind this expression tells the situation between Emperor Ai of the Han dynasty and his lover Dong Xian, who fell asleep on one of the sleeves of the emperor’s clothes, so he preferred to cut the sleeve to wake his lover. The expression Duanxiu (断袖) gained popularity again with the premiere of Ang Lee’s movie, Brokeback Mountain, whose Chinese title was Duanbei Shan (断背山).

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