On Sunday, 1,500 tables were set up on the streets of what used to be a small village in Guangzhou to celebrate the completion of the village’s striking redevelopment, and the relocation of the villagers into their new high-rise apartments.
As Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong province, grew in population at the turn of the century, highly-populated areas such as Zhujiang New Town and Wuyang New Town surrounded the old Yangji Village, causing problems such as robbery and theft — along with lack of sunlight, we assume. As such, the district government decided to demolish the village in 2010, and replace it with something more modern.
A compensation deal was struck so that the former villagers were given apartments in the newly-constructed buildings. This means that each villager now owns an apartment valued at around 10 million RMB, South China Morning Post reports.
To mark the completion of the project, and the new status of the villagers as apartment-dwellers, the property development group hosted a giant banquet. 1,500 tables seating 15,000 villagers were arranged out in an intersection in time for dinner.
Photos on Weibo and ECNS.com show how the huge banquet took shape.
The banquet was prepared by 600 staff members who started working at 6 a.m. inside six kitchen tents built onto the site, ECNS reports. With a total cost of several million yuan, forked out by the village authority and the property developer, the banquet was by no means cheap. During the event, villagers enjoyed dances, magic shows and a Cantonese opera alongside their food.
The whole concept of large scale banquets is not unusual in China. Two years ago, a heinously large banquet was hosted for 2,000 people in Henan, and another banquet for Chinese New Year in Chongqing stretched for a full kilometer.
The former villagers appear to have lucked into these sweet apartments at an opportune time. Last week, China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, warned that Chinese real estate is the “biggest bubble ever.” This week, the governments of China’s top-tier cities, including Guangzhou, began implementing measures to stabilize the red-hot property market.
By Christopher Shi
[Images via ECNS / Weibo / Tencent]