An exhibition abut 18 air hostesses who were once textile workers opened on Monday at Shanghai Workers’ Cultural Palace near People’s Square.
They were the first in China to break the age ceiling of recruitment of air hostesses, and their successful careers are so well known as to have become the stuff of folklore.
Laid off in the mid-1990s together with another 500,000 textile workers in Shanghai, the 18 stood out among over 2,000 candidates who competed to become air hostesses.
Previously airlines only recruited air hostesses under 22 years old, but at that time, all women under 35 years old were allowed to compete for the job. Now the age limit is 32 years old.
Seventeen of them have now retired, but one is still working for China Eastern Airlines.
Hu Weiping, one of the 18 air hostesses, said the biggest difficulty for her and others was air sickness during flights.
Visitors to the exhibition will find old photos of the air hostesses being trained and their first years at work as well as objects from their working years that they held dear.
The exhibition will last till December 31, and is open from 9am to 4:30pm every day.