YINCHUAN, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — Bowls, in the childhood of 62-year-old Ma Shenglin, a villager in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, were a precious item to be cherished.
“No bowls, no meals,” he said. “There was a time when I had to wait for my siblings to finish their meals and lend me one of their bowls after I broke my own accidentally.”
The family was too poor to buy Ma a new bowl at that time, which was common in the region. Ma’s home village, Hongyang village of Hongyang Township in Haiyuan County, used to suffer from deep poverty due to drought and its isolation deep in the mountains.
“This meant that when weddings or funerals were held, the villagers had to borrow bowls from their neighbors,” he said. “So families usually carved a special character on the bottom of their own bowls to identify them.”
The lack of bowls in the village has been resigned to history thanks to China’s targeted poverty alleviation efforts. More than 98 percent of the villagers have shaken off poverty by developing animal husbandry and other methods with the help of the government.
“I’m glad my granddaughter doesn’t have to worry about breaking bowls like I did when I was a kid,” joked Ma.
Yu Wanglong, general manager of a tableware company in the city of Jingdezhen, known as China’s ceramic capital, feels a huge change is underway in the country’s tableware market.
“People didn’t care about the patterns and colors of tableware before China’s reform and opening-up in the late 1970s,” he said. “Now we must add fashionable elements and modern designs to the tableware and even offer customizations to attract young customers.”
“Consumers have higher demands for tableware, using different patterns and colors to match their dining atmosphere,” he added.
“Life is about more than just satisfying our basic need for food and clothing, it also requires a certain beauty,” said Song Xiaoshuang, a resident in the city of Yinchuan in Ningxia. “Even instant noodles can be special with my favorite bowl and spoon.”
LINK ORIGINAL: Xinhuanet