Advertising and Marketing

Bandit chicken in Hunan

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This restaurant in Xiangfan, Hubei, is called "West Hunan Bandit Chicken." China Youth Daily reports:

A restaurant employee told the reporter that the boss is not Hunanese, but the head chef is from Hunan. The name was selected by the chef and his buddies. As for why such a crude name was chosen, a waitress said, "Previously, the bandits of western Hunan were famous; this kind of restaurant can attract customers and cause a stir."

A friend of the reporter from Hubei named Li said that "bandit dishes" were well-known in certain areas of Hunan and Hubei. These include "bandit roasted fish," "bandit pig liver," "bandit pig trotters," and so forth, but "bandit chicken" and "bandit duck" in particular are marquee items.

Some urban residents expressed dismay at this. An old man named Jin from Xiangfan said angrily, "In the old society, bandits had people gnashing their teeth with fright. But now people openly take it as a point of pride. I really don't know what they are thinking. Will no one do anything about this?"

Guo Guangdong posted on his blog about the story:

Recently there was a news item from my hometown of Xiangfang, Hubei, that was suppressed by many news sources. I intended to say something about his unexplainable suppression, but then I felt that it wasn't worth mentioning because, first, there are too many things like this. Many reporters have a strong sense of righteousness and like to use their personal sense of right and wrong to insist that the public authorities punish things that are not strictly illegal. Second, the purpose here may involve the amusement of being human, and this point has already been stated quite convincingly by Wang Xiaobo:

In the realm of social morality, I also want to argue against vapidity. That is to say, I want to oppose solemn prudishness. From my investigations, in a relaxed society, people can find elegance and finely-crafted romance; in a rigid society, people can find humor - at least black humor. But if there is nothing to be gained from society, it is an alarming thing.*

The CYD article opens with a reference to the 1987 film Fighting Bandits in West Hunan (西湘剿匪记). You can watch that classic on 6 Rooms.


Note: Adapted from the preface to My Spiritual Garden (我的精神家园); the original line reads "But nothing can be gained from this society in which I live, and this is an alarming thing." Available on Sina's book channel

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There are currently 3 Comments for Bandit chicken in Hunan.

Comments on Bandit chicken in Hunan

Well Mr. Mao of the current ruling party did get his start in banditry didn't he? This is just a form of patriotism...

Quote:

[Second, the purpose here may involve the amusement of being human, and this point has already been stated quite convincingly by Wang Xiaobo:
In the realm of social morality, I also want to argue against vapidity. That is to say, I want to oppose solemn prudishness. From my investigations, in a relaxed society, people can find elegance and finely-crafted romance; in a rigid society, people can find humor - at least black humor. But if there is nothing to be gained from society, it is an alarming thing.]

In this case, I think it should be taken as “hype” instead of “humor”. I think most people can tell “humor” from “hype”. If Guo takes this case as "humor" or "black humor", I think what he does is really a black humor.

This is that rarity, a really clever Chinese marketing move. I like it.

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