Shanghai in Chinese people’s mind doesn’t belong to a city made in China. It is reliable. Shanghai from a small fishing village to be an international metropolis just has less than 200 years of history. The whole development model is quite closer to the western world, especially the U.S.A’s big cities. Therefore, today’s Shanghai is slightly featured with tradition of China except some reconstructed temples, classic gardens and folk residence (like Shikumen style of buildings, which actually is dominantly featured of the western architectural style), under the individual principle and aesthetic standard of those so-called designer receiving western education and growing up in the western tradition., and mostly influenced with the western values. The whole layout and construction tendency of downtown Shanghai can be available in Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, and it is largely apt to the style of western city development. In this way, today’s Shanghai is not traditional China’s Shanghai, but a baby of westernization and internationalization in China. However, this article is themed with Shanghai City Guide, a lot of detailed information, personally agree, is unnecessary to be rewritten for a great batch of relevant information is full of internet, and what you need to do is only input some keywords like Shanghai, Shanghai history, China Shanghai and Shanghai business, and then Google, Yahoo and Bing may offer a sea of data about Shanghai, and Wikipedia, Britannica and Wikitravel also give you the all-inclusive introduction of Shanghai. But, for the history of Shanghai before the first Opium War needs a brief writing.
Shanghai is called Hu or Shen for short.Hu(沪) used to be a fishing tool made of the bamboo, and In Jin Dynasty, the local people living in the riverside area of Suzhou River or Wusong River fed on fish hunting. So Hu is originated from this meaning. Shen(申) was from a state lord, honorably named Chunshen Jun(春申君, whose name was Huang Xie, a famous politician and lord of Chu State and one of Four Gentleman-like Lords , including Chun Shen Jun of Chu State, Mengchang Jun of Qi State, Xinling Jun of Wei State and Pingyuan Jun of Zhao State, in Warring States Period ), because this used to be the manor estate granted by Chunshen Jun. Hence, the Huangpu River historically is called Huangxie River named after Chunshen Jun. When people begun to call it Shanghai. In accordance with the historical record, this started in Song Dynasty, sourced from a branch of Suzhou River named Shanghai Pu(上海浦)，later the wine industry got a development, the local authority set up a taxation organ, officially named Jiu Wu(酒务, a taxation center of wine) near to this area, and then Shanghai was widely called Shanghai Wu(上海务), and since then, Shanghai was gradually accepted as the name of this area. Since then, Shanghai as a county-level town or city under the administration of Suzhou until 1842 when Shanghai was forced to be one of five trade ports in terms of the Treaty of Nanking, from then on, western countries established their concessions respectively. The original layout of downtown Shanghai appeared. Due to this special protection, Shanghai got a fantastic development in economy and urbanization progress. In 1927, Shanghai was set as a special city of China.
|The skyscraper complex in Pudong New Area, downtown Shanghai. This is the Oriental Pearl Television Tower and Shanghai International Conference Center|
|Shanghai Xintiandi (New World) is a traditionally famous leisure center for night life and bars lifestyle. The architectural style of Xintiandi is highlighted with the European buildings, and it is the hot tourist site for travelers' night entertainment.|
Chinese people, especially the new generations, suffer a strange but understandable dilemma — They are unwilling to work and reside in Shanghai, and this tendency becomes more and more obvious in line with many interviewees’ response from heart, though Shanghai is the largest and busiest metropolis in Far East and the No.1 city of mainland China as a culture, education, economy center. These interviewees’ are born mostly after 1980s, and domestically called After-80s, and majority of them get the higher education and have a rational life design. Their refusal mostly is on the basis of the current condition of mainland China: new start in Shanghai is always undermined by the high living cost, super-stress of work, competitive and fast-paced lifestyle as well as relatively low payment. What is more important is that they hate the urban air pollution and the concrete jungle, in which they can see nothing but the high-rising building complexes, innumerous moving automobiles, over-busy streets and avenues as well as the heavy traffics. They feel lonely and isolated for the walkers are busy with working, coming and going. They barely have bosom friends for the business-centered city law make many people lose themselves in fanatic pursuit of money, profit and interest by virtue of any way they can touch. The innocence and purity of humanity as well as the single-hearted friendship are the dream far away from this big city.
This is a spiritual and traditional conflict rooted in the life values of people, who used to live in the fully traditional countryside and family. The infancy and childhood bring them the traditional idea of ancient China that enforcing self-discipline and kindly accepting difference. And during this time, people felt ashamed of betrayal, defect, cheating, lying and dishonesty, and their dream was quite innocent and admirable – to be a scientist, a teacher, a gardening artist, a chef, and so on. By contrast, today’s urban people dream eagerly about earning as much as possible in any way, and for the sake of treasure and status, they could betray their friends, parents and soul, let alone the dream of childhood. This is the city disease of city people not physically but mentally. In brief, their reluctance reaction reveals a vivid conflict of real tradition and alleged modernity. But it is a trouble needs a hard consideration, which always guides them into a miserable dilemma – giving up dream to be a millionaire or billionaire without soul, or keeping a poor life to be a real man living in others’ laughter and discrimination. For avoiding this nightmarish choosing, they mostly are willing to keep away or a distance from Shanghai. This explanation may hold water in some way.
Shanghai currently is the display window of China, and any change of Shanghai can brings a deep influence on China as well as the international reaction to China. Shanghai city flower is a White Yulan Flower. The main tourist attractions include Shanghai Museum, The Bund of Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Shanghai Paramont, Shanghai Xintiandi Zone, Shanghai Old Street, Shanghai Confucius Temple, Zhujiajiao Town, Fengjing Ancient Town, Qibao Ancient Town, Grand View Garden, Shanghai City God Temple, Shanghai Nanjing Road, Shanghai Renmin Square, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Shanghai Natural History Museum, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai Museum of Arts and Crafts, Shanghai Oriental Pearl Television Tower, Shanghai Jinmao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai International Financial Center, Shanghai Botanical Garden, China Pavilion of Shanghai World Expo, Shanghai Circus World, Shanghai Disneyland Park, Shanghai St.Ignatius Cathedral, Broadway Mansions, Sinan Mansions, Shanghai Happy Valley, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai Wildlife Park, Shanghai Tianzifang, and so on. Shanghai covers a large number of great tourist attractions nearly all featuring the mixture of nature and culture.
|This is a panoramic night view of Pudong new area and the both sides of Huangpu river. The glittering skyscrapers along the river make Shanghai become a sleepless metropolis.|
|The best way to having a grand view of nighttime scenery is by a cruise on Huangpu river. The night skyscraper sightseeing on the water may give a unique look of Shanghai to travelers. |
As the top metropolis of China, Shanghai has the best urban infrastructure and public service system. The stadiums, parks, gardens, playgrounds, schools, leisure centers, bus system, metro system, airport and port service are all the advancement in the world. The metro system of Shanghai maybe is the most advanced and convenient transportation system in the world. The intercity high-speed train is also the highlights of Shanghai. Nowadays, Shanghai-Nanjing High-Speed Railway, Shanghai-Hangzhou High-Speed Railway, Shanghai-Beijing High-Speed Railway and Shanghai-Hangzhou Magnetic Suspension Rail largely facilitate the intercity life (living in Suzhou, Hangzhou or surrounding cities and working in downtown Shanghai). The airports of Shanghai are also the airline hub of China consists of Shanghai Pudong International Airport (International Orientation) and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (Domestic Orientation). Shanghai Railway Station centers on South Station of Shanghai and Shanghai Station are also the passenger transportation service hub of China. Shanghai as the counterpart of Beijing in China is also an important education center, and the famous domestic universities represented by Fudan University, Tongji University, Shanghai Jiaotong University and East China Normal University. These universities are also the top selections of Chinese senior school students, but the requirements are also quite higher than any one in other areas. Local Shanghai citizens speak a local dialect, widely known as Shanghainese, a mixture of Wu dialect and Yue dialect. But the reputation and impression of Shanghai local people in China are not so good as imagined. They are extensively considered to be snobbish, exclusive and penny-pinching. But the nightlife and leisure holidays in Shanghai are quite fabulous. The acrobatic show, fashion show, clubs, bars and diversity of parties are all easily available actually. Shanghai cuisine are also quite special, any type of Chinese cuisine gathers here, also including the cuisines overseas, and the international famous festivals of Shanghai include Shanghai International Film Festival, Shanghai International Arts Festival, Shanghai International Travel Festival, Shanghai International TV Festival, and Shanghai Spring International Music Festival. Also except the top museums mentioned above, there are also hundreds of museums in different sizes and scales, and they exhibits and specifically tells Shanghai stories in different aspects.
Anyway, this is Shanghai, a city of China, gradually becomes a landmark of Chinese urbanization or internationalization, also a test site of westernization in China. Welcome to Shanghai to see the other side of dilemmatic China.
| The Highlights of History and Culture
Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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