Last Saturday night, 9 September, Shen Yifei (a colleague in the School for Social Development and Public Policy) and her husband took me to a “pijiujie” (啤酒节) organized by one of her lawyer-husband’s clients in Pudong. Like any oktoberfest, there was lots of beer, a band, and sausages and sauerkraut, and lots of people drinking beer. Sure, I was in Shanghai, and it was September, but it was a lot of fun to see Shanghai professionals party, German style. There were a lot of foreigners scattered in the crowd — although there were tickets with a face value of 199 RMB, (around US$25), most of the crowd were clients, corporate colleagues of the host company.
The party started out by introducing the VIP’s from the host company, and a motivating speech by the CEO about how drinking beer is the culmination of Mao Zedong’s revolutionary drive to build socialism (he really said this, and of course everyone laughed). The whole event says something about globalization in China, though I’d have to think about what it actually says. Here’s a video to help you think through a Shanghai Oktoberfest.