“Whenever I wear my qipao, I feel like I am stepping into another life—one that is foreign to me but still relevant. The fabric and style represent a part of the country that is part of me and in which I can identify with but that is also somewhat of a stranger to me,” says Shay Haneline, a senior Ball State Chinese major.

To see more photos of individuals in their traditional garments, check out the full photo essay at  ballbearingsmag.com.