Mao Zedong’s lasting charisma has not only ensured Shaoshan village, where he grew up, has prospered into a popular tourist destination, but also has led to a boom in diverse Mao-themed products.
Today, souvenir stores line the roads in Shaoshan, with their interiors and fronts decorated with the late leader’s statues, pictures and badges.
Many tourists and storeowners refuse to bargain for these souvenirs as it seems disrespectful, while many of the Mao-linked products have become famous.
For instance, the Mao-style braised pork dish, a life-long favorite, is now named after him.
It is said that before New China was founded, Mao would celebrate each victory of his army with a serving.
In Shaoshan, the dish appears to have more meaning than elsewhere.