Shanghai World Expo Chinese National Pavilion displays a series of Chinese classic items from the 70s, 80s and 90s. For China’s relatively older generations and those who have ever lived in China during these times, these items should be familiar, feeling nostalgic yet?
Simple style wooden furniture, certificates and photos hanging on the wall, enamel mugs and nylon bags, the most valuable electrical appliance is the old style radio. Obsessed with Hong Kong, Taiwanese and Japanese TV series and used to like Barbara Yung (翁美玲), Momoe Yamaguchi (山口百慧), Huo Yuanjia (霍元甲) and Hui Man-Keung (许文强) (Character in once popular Hong Kong drama series ‘The Bund’). Very harsh childhood studying conditions, often used a bench as the desk. Using grain coupons to buy food, couldn’t tell which room is the bedroom and which is the living room at home. This is the 70s, a nostalgic era.
Going into the 80s, Chinese people’s living standards have improved significantly. Many families own a telephone, other than radio, sewing machine, watch and bicycle so called the old “Four Big Items”, also added black and white television, radio-cassette recorder, monocular washer and electric fan, they became the new “Four Big Items”. Even though the photos are still hanging on the walls, but the number of colored photos is increasing, Thermo flask turned into hydraulic thermo flask; lamps turned into fluorescent lights; wedding photos became more westernized; radio became smaller and smaller in size; real leather bags became fashionable and popular for a while. Kids said goodbye to children’s picture-story book era, and had electric toy trains. The 80s, the era China began to develop.
The 90s is the period when Chinese people had very rich material life. Home appliances are upgraded, many families started to have audio systems and flat picture tube color TV, computers are also gradually going into every family. Living conditions were improved, composite furniture became very popular in the early 90s, home arrangements and decorations showed owner’s aesthetic sense of taste. Western suits, fashionable purses improved Chinese people’s fashion-sense, and more people started to love sports. The 90s, the era China fully developed its politics, economy and society.
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