- Gordon Dumoulin
Icons of amazing transformations, still pedaling today...
𝘕𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘨𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘱𝘦𝘥𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰𝘥𝘢𝘺
𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘴...
Yesterday I parked my bike next to a brand new 二八大杠 ("twenty-eight bars"), China's iconic 28" bicycle, derived from classic English roadster bicycle types.
This nostalgic bike made in China was one of the 三大件 "𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗯𝗶𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀" Chinese families aspired to have from the 1950's to well into the 1980's with the others being a sewing machine and a wristwatch. Others mention 四大件 "four big things" (or "three rounds and a sound"), including a transistor radio.
The bike opened a wider world for millions, and was a huge status symbol as well during that time. The most famous brand at the time was from #Tianjin manufacturer 飞鸽 or Flying Pigeon of which more than 500 million bicycles have been made since the 1950's, more than any other model of vehicle in the world (the next closest vehicle model most made is the Honda Super Cub motorcycle, which passed 100 million pieces in 2017).
China's leader Deng Xiaoping defined 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝘀 "𝗮 𝗙𝗹𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗶𝗴𝗲𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗱" and the Flying Pigeon was so iconic that when President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush visited China in February 1989, Premier Li Peng gifted the couple two Flying Pigeon bicycles.
For many in China a kind of nostalgia today but for others still a basic mode of transportation, especially in the countryside.
Looking at Chinese society and during the 20th CPC Congress starting this weekend in #Beijing, the iconic bike posed my moment of reflection today about the huge transformations and amazing developments Chinese society has gone through in past decades... and certainly continue to transform and develop towards the future...
#china #china2022 #chinesesociety #chineseculture #chinesehistory