Shanghai: Wu dialect 1979alect
Unlike Cantonese which, is a separate language the Wu dialect is spoken here. Now spoken by 85 million people 10 percent of the population of China. Shanghai 上海 has one of the largest populations of any city in the world and is also one of the top ten ports. It is the largest city in China. Shanghai community has the tenth largest population in the World.
In summer sunrise at 4:50, sunset at 19:01
This weather is heavily influenced by the monsoon and Shanghai’s coastal position, next to the East China Sea. Canton borders the South China Sea, another arm of the Pacific Ocean.
This morning we went to a school. It was very nice. First we saw the children doing their exercises. Then we went inside the school to see the class rooms. The best part was the musical performance, encompassing traditional Chinese instrument, followed by singing Home on the Range and Red River Valley. The final performance was music by Mozart performed by a string quartet.
The school was generally run down; but nice, they were very intent on making improvements, especially concerning curriculum. The children are young pioneers and wear red neckerchiefs.
On the way back we stopped ate the Friendship shop before returning to the hotel.
After lunch we had a city tour. Seeing the sports stadium and some of the newer districts.
The best part of the afternoon was the Shanghai Art Museum. Here we saw Chinese bronzes, pottery, and paintings. Most of the group did not appreciate the museum.
Afterwards we came back to the hotel and had a party with most of the members of the group. David did not participate however as he felt it was a waste of time.
Nanking Road No MacDonalds or BK in those days, but still one of my favorite places in China
After dinner Jim and I looked at TV for about five minutes to see what it was like. Then we listened to Frankie and Pat, the two old ladies on the trip talk about their trip to New Guinea.
About 20:00 Jim and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and met three Chinese boys who took us for a beer—it was warm and served in a bowl and was not very good. We had another beer at the hotel before going to bed.
Today we visited the workers’ residence. We started with tea and a beginning lecture, followed by a visit to the nursery. The children were so cute! Next we saw the clinic and Mr. Muchnik got some pills for constipation.
Next we saw the factory where the workers were making diapers and another factory for fountain pens. We also visited the local store and some of the homes. They are small but also quaint. Everything was located in one little area this represents the communist ideal in living and working conditions.
Came back to the hotel for lunch and went to the largest department store in Shanghai on the Nanjing Road. Afterwards we went to the Children’s Palace. This is a place where children come after school and about once every two weeks to play games, do arts and crafts, paint, sing, read or learn ballet or play musical instruments. A Chinese child led each one of the group members through the compound. It was very nice
After dinner we went to the aerobatic show. It was very good. Not only were there acrobats but also clown, juggles, monkeys and a panda that rode and bicycle and played the horn.
This morning we went to the Yuan Yu gardens and the old section of Shanghai. The first Chinese palace we have seen. It was the palace of the treasurer during the Ming dynasty. It is located in the middle of the old Chinese section which was interesting in itself.
We returned to the hotel forty minutes before lunch and had an hour and a half after lunch. We spoke to Elaine about wasting so much time. I haven’t said anything about the bread bus. Because our group or Beth is so small.
After lunch we caught the train for Nanjing. It was very interesting ride though the countryside. I took many pictures. We left the Shanghai North Station and arrived at Nanking Central station. It did not take long (300 km about 3 hrs).
Jiangsu province borders the Yellow Sea. Since 1978, Nanking is the sister city of St. Louis. St. Louis is the first city to have a twin with the People’s Republic of China. St. Louis is also twinned with Stuttgart in Germany, Lyon in France and St. Petersburg. We brought some stamps and things from home about St Louis to distribute for the occasion. Nanjing means Southern capital and is a city of importance in Chinese history, including the outbreak of the second Sino-Japanese war and brutal massacre of civilians in WWII. I t was from Nanjing that Chain Kaisheck and the Nationalist government fled to Taiwan in 1949. The last city to hold out on the mainland.
Nanjing is an important educational center in southern China for more than 1700 years. Nanjing has a humid subtropical climate. Its climate resembles that of Georgia, East Texas and Buenos Aires. It has plenty of rain year round and some snow. During the Ming dynasty Nanjing was one of the wealthiest cities in the world due to textiles and minting. It is a leading world source of the element Sr (strontium). It is a site of heavy industry including steel and electronics in the PRC.
Like St. Louis it has very hot summers and is located on a great river. It was the last city on the mainland to be liberated by the PLA( Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàng Jūn). It is on the Yangtze River between Chungking and Shanghai. Chungking another former Chinese capital is not open to foreign visitors at this time. There is no nightlife to speak of in any of these Chinese cities. Prostitution has been banned the opium dens are closed, the rickshaw has been banned as demeaning. Chungking (Chongqing) is now the fastest growing city in the world. My parents visited Chongqing in 1999 on their third trip to China. It is the site of the three gorges dam.
After arriving in Nanjing we had dinner. After dinner Jim and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was very nice. I bought some apricots at a store. WE finally got to use some of our Chinese money. I love apricots. We looked as some of the houses. We also saw a barber shop. Then we came home and went to bed.
Today we had a long but enjoyable day. After breakfast we went to the teachers’ college. Nanjing Normal University http://english.nnu.cn/. After a short lecture we moved upstairs for a seminar discussion with the students. We are served tea everywhere and sit on overstuffed couches or chair like in a living room. I talked to two girls.
We also toured the library and saw an interesting art collection—some Chinese but the rest had been sent from all over the world. The best part of the morning was the musical performance-which included western and traditional numbers. This was followed by a question and answer period.
There is a nine story pagoda in Nanjing (Linqqu pagoda built in 1928). Also the beamless temple.
After lunch we visited the Nanking Bridge which crosses the Yangtze River. It is three thousand meters long and crosses a thousand meter span of the river. The Chinese are especially proud of this bridge as both the British and Russians found the task too difficult. They finished the bridge in the 1950’s after the Russian advisers had left.
Next we visited two parks. They were both beautiful. The first park Xuanwu (Black dragon Lake) —contains a large lake and five islands. One island contains the zoo with pandas and botanical garden
. St. Louis also has a famous botanical garden MOBOT We also saw part of the Ming wall.
The next garden was also quite nice. It was the home of the worriless or care free girl. Mochou Lake Park This girl was the subject of many paintings and stories. At dinner we had chocolate soufflé and afterwards we got a tour of the kitchen. It was very different from western ones, with big fires and woks everywhere. The food so far has been very good. So far we have been eating the Chinese food except for breakfast. It is great. Chinese breakfast is a little different with soup and nuts and no coffee. We’ve stopped asking what it is. For the most part even after they tell us we still don’t understand. One of the specialties of Nanking is pressed duck.
After dinner we went to the Chinese opera. It was the story of the Worriless girl. The music, singing, scenery and costumes were excellent. We even had earphones like from the 1940’s with thick cords to give the translation in English. I was big communist propaganda but it was still a good time.
Today we went to the Panda Radio Factory.
Saturday Nanking/ Beijing
The flight to Beijing took 1 ½ hours.
Have you ever been to Shanghai or Nanjing? Do you live there? Do you speak any of the Chinese dialects I mentioned (Wu, Mandarin, Cantonese) What are your experiences?