Nostalgia injects new vigor into consumption

2024-04-11 18:10:30

Antique toy museum at Longquan Ancient Town, Kunming city, southwest China's Yunnan province. [Photo/]

As consumption upgrades, products and services themed with nostalgia and traditional culture emerge as new trends. 

In the museum cluster at Longquan Ancient Town, Kunming city, southwest China's Yunnan province, a flock of students and their parents rushed into the newly opened antique toy museum. Here, ancestors' wisdom intertwines with modern technology through toys.

Wang Zhipeng, the curator of the toy museum, explained how antique toys embody ancient wisdom, laying the groundwork for modern thinking. His aim in establishing the museum is to introduce antique toys to younger generations and pass on the wisdom behind the toys.

"I hope that the toy museum can slow down the contemporary life, creating resonance for the visitors and promoting related business models," said Wang. 

Currently, the museum profits mainly from selling creative cultural products, providing interactive courses, holding small-scale competitive activities, and offering intangible cultural heritage experiences.

Besides playing with toys, tea-time chats are also a leisure activity for urbanites amid their busy lives.

"Teahouses should be a comprehensive space for communicating and inheriting intangible culture," said Wang Ni, the owner of the Yongdao Teahouse, "the oldest teahouse in Kunming." 

The tea industry is one of Yunnan's pillar industries, with the total industrial chain value reaching 138 billion yuan in 2022. As the birthplace of the world's tea, Yunnan has a natural advantage in developing tea culture. But currently, Yunnan's teahouse culture has yet to be fully exploited.

"The development of teahouse should be based on rich tea culture. Yongdao Teahouse is the first historically recorded ancient teahouse in Yunnan. Nestled in the most characteristic Kunming neighborhood, the teahouse witnessed the region's historical changes and modern development," said Wang.

According to Wang, nostalgia-themed consumption is brewing in Kunming's characteristic blocks, such as old bookstores, teahouses, and markets. These spaces create new consumption scenarios featuring nostalgia and innovation.

"'Ancient culture' will not lose its vitality as time passes," said experts. On the contrary, it has the potential to become a significant source of innovation. 

Currently, "old Kunming" and its traditional culture are gaining popularity. Based on nostalgia, all stakeholders should collaborate to design a new consumption model highlighting regional characteristics and historical value, injecting new vitality into economic development.

Source: Yunnan Daily; trans-editing by Guo Yao

Nostalgia injects new vigor into consumption