shekou–a taste of history

The latest video in the “Shenzhen Book of Changes” series, A Taste of History is online. In this episode we’re visiting with Hao Lianyu who opened the first Beijing Restaurant in Shekou, Shenzhen.

In the early 1980s, Reform and Opening policies aimed to liberalize post Mao society. In Shekou, the emphasis on consumption legitimated the “bourgeois” idea that taste was an important element of the economy. By eating what they liked and entertaining themselves in new ways, Shekou people embodies this transformation. Today, Hao Lianyu’s Beijing Restaurant is a local landmark, where a bite of fragrant flatbread brings us back to Shekou’s early years, when these middle class tastes were first celebrated.

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