China pulled out all the stops in the cutlery department for its APEC welcoming banquet inside Beijing’s “Water Cube” on Monday night, reports Sina, wowing foreign dignitaries with their excellent sense of design and trademark imperial yellow color—the food was probably alright too.
The theme of the dining set was the “Flourishing Age” (aka “The Age of Xi“) and it was designed and produced by a Beijing company. The design of the dishes, name plates, and china sets was inspired by the mural painting of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang. The enamel-coated porcelain was widely used in the court of the Qing dynasty.
However, we can’t help but think that the color and design brings to mind some more recent symbolism.
The imperial yellow dining sets were only allocated out to national leaders. They somehow included 68 individual pieces. Foreign ministers meanwhile had to settle for silver utensils including just a measly 63 individual pieces. I mean you’re basically forcing them to use their hands at that point.
According to the Global Times, these utensils—dubbed “APEC Style”—are already creating a sensation among netizens, due to a nostalgia for traditional Chinese culture that apparently isn’t satiated by the countless numbers of dynastic soap operas on TV. The company says it is already getting orders from buyers who want dine like it’s 1699.
Check out some of the individual pieces. The golden “leader” name card should be a particularity hot seller.
The menu for the banquet included some Chinese classics like Peking duck, but baozi was conspicuously absent.
by Alex Linder
[Images via Sina]