The Good Old Days: China Firsts in Pictures
As changes made in the recent third plenum start to, ever-so-slowly, take effect, a series of photographs from old China have emerged, as though to remind us of the after effects of the third plenary sessions in December 1978, which saw the country ending class struggle and embracing modernization by opening up to the world for the first time. What came after this reform was a change in lifestyle with the help of several international companies such as KFC and Coca Cola, which began popping-up in China for the first time. As well as this, tourists began to show up and people began adopting a more Western-influenced lifestyle.
This series of beautiful pictures, mostly in black and white, might give you a few nostalgic feelings as you look through them. They capture moments of change that mark the first time Western companies and influences began to appear in China. You can browse through a few below and see the rest here.
First tourists – Taken in the summer of 1980 in the Forbidden City, this tourist has become the tourist attraction, with many curious Chinese looking at her. Photo: 李晓斌 Xiaobin
First beauty pageant – This was taken in 1985 in Guangdong, inside a Muslim elementary school classroom. A hopeful struts her stuff in front of judges. Photo by: 安哥 Angola
The first square dance – This picture was taken in 1981 and shows a couple dancing dressed in bell bottoms. Photo by: 胡武功 Hu Martial arts
First perm – Taken in 1982, this picture shows just how fashionable this hairstyle was back then. This barber shop in Shanghai acquired 26 sets of hairdryers and attended to 250 customers per day
First computers- This picture, taken in 1985, shows the first batch of people using computers for work. Photo by: 安哥 Angola
First suits – This picture was taken in 1986 at Tiananmen Square and shows an old man wearing traditional clothes while his grandsons wear 20th century suits. Photo by: 蒋铎 Jiang Duo
First bottles of Coke – Pictured in September 1979, the first batch of bottled Coke arrived in China. By 1981, the first Coca-Cola production line was put into operation in Beijing, followed by a range of foreign shops selling slowly to ordinary people