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April 10, 2020

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Competition to promote new way of eating shared meals

A competition to design serving utensils has been launched in the Pudong New Area to promote healthier eating habits amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese tradition of people sitting around a table and taking food from shared plates using their own utensils increases the risk of spreading the virus. So Shanghai has been promoting the use of serving chopsticks and spoons.

The competition will run to the end of May and the winning designs will be displayed at the Sunshine Paradise commercial complex in Tangzhen Town.

They will also go into production and will be available to buy and for use in restaurants.

Artists in Tangzhen were invited to make chopsticks and spoons in resin, silver and lacquer, among other materials, and their work is now on display at the Tangzhen Cultural Creative Center.

The center’s Shi Junyan said the items represented Chinese aesthetics and philosophy, which are a key part of the competition.

“We will open our DIY workshop to more people after the pandemic ends and they can make their own chopsticks and spoons,” she said.

“They can bring their design drawings and we will help them with the woodwork. Or they can simply draw on plain utensils. We hope to raise people’s awareness of using serving utensils.”

Zhang Teng, director of Pudong’s cultural industry promotion center, said that the competition was a healthy combination of culture and lifestyle.

The pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the cultural industry — which contributed almost 13 percent to Pudong’s GDP last year.

“Some cultural companies have found a way to save themselves by exploring the market in the post-pandemic period,” Zhang said, citing the example of Pudong-based fine bone china brand Miracle Dynasty.

The brand has supplied tableware to state banquets. Recently, it launched a new series called “family feast,” consisting of dish sets and serving utensils.

“Their efforts have greatly inspired us,” Zhang said. “The healthy lifestyle of using serving utensils which we are promoting actually offers new market opportunities.”


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