nets to riches

In our rush to celebrate Shenzhen’s transformation from a fishing village into China’s fourth city, we emphasize a nets-to-riches fantasy. However, this origin story ignores the inequalities that structured coastal society before the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949. In this episode of the Shenzhen Book of Changes, we visit Nan’ao and speak with the local fishing people, who before 1962 were not allowed to come on land. They floated from port to port in Dapeng Bay, relying on the fish that they could catch and the protection of the goddess Mazu to warn them when storms were rising.

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