Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Shanghai, the Wannabe Hong Kong

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 2, 2013


Shanghai, or ‘shaghai’ the place once known as the ‘whore of the orient’ is China’s answer to Hong Kong, or so they think. The women from Shanghai like to think of themselves as cosmopolitan, and better than the rest of Chinese. They believe that because they do not spit quite as much as Beijingers, that the word ‘cultured’ can be used when speaking of them. As for me, I find this less than dubious distinction failing to qualify shaghai’ers as cultured, classy or anything other than ‘slightly more cultured than the rest of Chinese’. In all honesty, however, I am not even comfortable making this claim as well.

The reason is that to me, Shanghai’ers can be even more closed minded than Chinese in other locals. For instance, although they love to talk to foreigners, show that they do indeed speak English, they seem a little more insecure and less open to non Shanghai things. This is in contrast to Chongqing’ers, for example. They might not gush over people from other countries, but will engage you in conversation and genuinely be open or curious.

The people in Shanghai-imho, are more likely to try and convince you that they are not ‘farmers’ a pejorative in China. In their rush to let you know that they are not backwards and awkward, they come off as backwards and awkward. They also seem more embarrassed about communism then Beijingers, and less equipped to talk about that form of governance. Beijingers, northeasterners and Chongqinger’s imho, are more willing to do so.

So what does this have to do with Hong Kong?

Well, to me Hong Kong seems to be an international place with all the colors of the rainbow represented. It is pa financial hub with great food, polite people and an incredible view. The problem is that Hong Kong was taken over by the Brits, which really pisses off the Chinese. It pisses them off for it showed their impotence in battle, but also that they cannot do much right. After all, Hong Kong is pimp, but then again, it became so under non-Chinese guidance.

The Chinese are thus searching for proof that they do not suck and can do something other than kill one another and worship Mao. Their hopes lie in cities like Shanghai which they think have been untainted by foreign invaders. Interestingly enough, the good of Shanghai seems to be those parts with a western flavor, ie areas of town built up by foreigners who once poned the town.

In sum, my rant could be summarized as this : Due to one party rule and cultural factors, China has a limited ability to do much more than piss off its neighbors, terrorize its citizens and try to piggy back off the good that foreigners have brought to China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: