So, every APEC conference, Asian-Pacific world leaders awkwardly dress up in the “native dress” of the country they are meeting. Resulting in hilariously awkward photos like these:
Obama has reportedly shunned the tradition established by Bill Clinton and asked other leaders not to wear Hawaiian shirts to the meeting in Honolulu.
“I got rid of the Hawaiian shirts because I looked at pictures of some of the previous APEC meetings and some of the garb that appeared previously and I thought this might be a tradition that we might want to break,” Obama said late Sunday. “I suggested to leaders, we gave them a shirt and I promise you if they wanted to wear it that would have been fine but I didn’t hear a lot of complaints about breaking precedent” (See The AP).
Maybe the POTUS was concerned about commodification of rich cultural traditions. Or maybe he just didn’t want to look like damn fool on vacation while the rest of us are getting whooped by the economic crisis. Either way, I get it (even though I would have relished posting the awkward photo).