Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Monday, February 2, 2009 at 6:06 PM
In the last few months, the word "shanzhai" (山寨) has lept from obscurity to become one of the most common buzz words on the Chinese Internet and the subject of many blog posts and articles in the Western media.
Literally meaning "fortified mountain village", the word's connotations of being outside the law led to its use to describe pirate products, knock-offs and home-made imitations. Although "shanzhai" usually connotes low quality, the word is also used favorably to describe a certain rebellious and creative spirit.
Over Spring Festival, your correspondent stumbled on a village in Huairou County, Beijing called "Heishanzhai" or Black Shanzhai. The village has a donkey meat factory (billboard pictured) where you can buy Black Shanzhai Donkey Meat.
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