Chinese Culture - the Culture of Shanghai

Topics: Shanghai, City, Culture Pages: 5 (1818 words) Published: March 14, 2013
Chinese Culture - The Culture of Shanghai

Shanghai University


Shanghai – Brief Overview
Shanghai is an important commercial harbor and the most important industrial town of the People's Republic of China. The administrative area has more than 23 million inhabitants. The status of the town corresponds to that of a province; the town is subordinated directly of the central government. Shanghai is an important traffic interchange and an important cultural center and educational center. There are countless universities, colleges, science institutes, theatres and museums. Shanghai awoke to live in 1842 properly, when the Britons opened their concession in the town. They were followed by the Americans and French and in the year 1853 the town was ahead of any other Chinese town. Shanghai was living from trading Silk, Opium and tea. Who followed was the big financial institutions. The name Shanghai also became to synonym for exploitation with the opium dens and brothels controlled by criminal groups. At the end of the 19th century till the 1920s Shanghai developed to a cosmopolitan city. At the beginning of the 20th century the population reached the more than a million. Also the roots of communism were founded here in 1921.The communist “freed” the city in 1949. The communists removed the slums, rehabilitated the hundreds of thousand addicted to opium in the town. Besides, they abolished children and slave work. However, therefore also the decadence and the shine of the town disappeared. Shanghai became thus a colorless industrial town. In the 1980s, Shanghai was again at the forefront. Here, the modernization of China should become real. That led to a massive increase of industrial production lines and foreign investors wanted to set a foot in the door as well. The special economic area Pudong was founded in 1990. Today Pudong is the new high-tech and economy location. Within twenty years, a whole bunch of skyscrapers and design towers were built and have changed and also sustained the city very much. Shanghai and Culture

Shanghai has always been the East Asian motor of modernism. The first car was driven here and the first train was built here as well. It seems obvious that Shanghai started their cultural renaissance with a big bang. That means they were in need of big events and big buildings, which is quite typical for a socialist city like Shanghai. The annual investments in cultural infrastructure have been doubled between 1996 and 2000. With that high amount of money, namely more than 2 billion yuan the city boasted a lot of new cultural facilities in 2000. These for example have been a new Art Gallery, an elegant museum for antiques, a luminous $150 million grand theater, a new expansive convention center and one of the largest libraries in the world. So there has been a lot of cultural movement in Shanghai. Since then Shanghai got more and more open for new cultural experiments and a new and modern way to access modern cultural activities. Today in an era of globalization, the regeneration of this cosmopolitanism takes on primarily place-based strategies aimed at recreating a sense of place, in combination the cultivation of key cultural industries. With opening up new cultural venues, Shanghai has put itself back on the map of the great wolrd cities. During the last years, Shanghai was promoting high-profile events and supporting the infrastructure to gain more attention from foreign investors. By now it looks like a preservation and creation of urban space. It’s good to see that the cultural development now works together with the commercialism. This is a great step, especially for the younger generation that seems to have a greater income in the future. That will lead to a new customer boom. With Shanghai moving forward with the cultural institutions and industries, its more and more a step to globalization. But there are also some negative effects that occur if the rise of the city is...

References: Two municipalities get new leaders China Daily from the 20.11.2012
Brunn, S.D., Williams, J.F., Ziegler, D.J. (Eds.), 2003. Cities of the World: World Regional Urban Development
Stefan Schomann: Letzte Zuflucht Schanghai, Heyne Verlag, München 2008, ISBN 978-3-453-15260-1
Esaki-Smith, A., 2001. Still China’s second city. Newsweek International 16, 28 July.
Zhi Hao Chu: Die moderne chinesische Architektur im Spannungsfeld zwischen eigener Tradition und fremden Kulturen: Aufgezeigt am Beispiel der Wohnkultur in der Stadt Shanghai, Verlag Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-631-50437-3
Lonlely Planet – China, varoius writers, October 2011, ISBN 978-3-8297-2238-4
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