Home » Shnaghai Tours » Shanghai Travel Guide » Shanghai Culture

Shanghai Travel Guide

Shanghai Local Culture

"Shanghai style" was created by some writers in Beijing in the 1920s criticizing scholars and writing styles in Shanghai at the time, which was opposite to that of Beijing. Both of them are representatives of two different cultures in China. Beijing style is traditional while Shanghai’s is unconventional and a result of Chinese and Western culture combining. It is full of commercial and folk colors.

In 1843, Shanghai was subject to Jiangnan culture before building a port and is derived from the ancient Wu-Yue culture of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces along the Yangtze River. The characteristics including, hydrophily, sensitiveness and fine and exquisiteness are inherited by Shanghai style. Shanghai represents a tolerance to other cultures and diverse characteristics of Shanghai style are formed.

After building a port, many people from Zhejiang province and Jiangsu province formed a major immigration group. Bold and open adventurous characters and exploiting spirits of Wu-Yue culture are clear in the creative characteristics of Shanghai style. Later, western civilization was brought into China which made Shanghai the national center of business and economy although it was originally a small town. Consequently, Shanghai style combined with Chinese and western culture gradually formed.

Former home of famous people

Shanghai was a place where many famous people came before the liberation. A large sum of classical, historical stories and figures once left their trace and steps there so that many renowned homes emerged.

Lu Xun came to Shanghai in 1927 and died in 1936. He lived in Shanghai for over 9 years and often went to Neishan Bookstore and Hongkou Part several times. Later on, the grave of Lu Xun was moved from Wanguo cemetery to Hongkou Park. During the 20th anniversary of Lu Xun's death, a memorial hall with Jiangnan style was built and the park was later renamed "Lu Xun Park."

Lu Xun’s former home was a three-floor house with red bricks and tiles and was a house he lived and worked in. He was a great cultural master before his death from 1933 to 1936. In the house, he created a large number of creation, translation, and edits. Additionally, activities like "China Freedom Activities League" and "China Zuoyi Authors League" were organized and many valuable things and written material were used before they were found.

There is a famous Duolun Cultural street nearby Lu Xun former home which is hard to find in the map but a great influence to modern culture and the history of China. Many famous people like Lu Xun, Qu Qiubai, Guo Moruo and Mao Dun gathered and fought there. China Zuoyi Authors League, National Art University, Shanghai Art Theatre and Gongfei Coffee House were all battlefields. Duoluyn Road and its neighboring roads reflect the historical and cultural epitome of the city. Those vivid bronze figures on the street describe the cultural demeanor of that time while those former homes quietly tell us stories from that era.

No. 7 of Xiangshan Road is a peaceful European style garden house which was the former home of Sun Yat-sen who lived there with his wife from 1918 to 1924. Displays in the house were renovated by Song Chingling according to the original place at that year and most are original. On the retired and quiet Gaolan Road, General Zhang Xueliang lived with Zhao Yidi from 1934 to 1935. A painting master Lu Haisu lived in the No. 512, Fuxing Middle Road, established the first art school-Shanghai Art Vocational School.

Since 1937, Ba Jin, a famous writer, who lived on the third floor in the No.59, 927 Lane, Huaihai Middle Road for 18 years. He finished his later works of Torrent Trilogy, namely Spring, Autumn and Cold Night. Cai Yuanpei lived in the No.16, 303 Lane, Huashan Road in a peaceful, European style house. He was an excellent democratic revolutionist and scholar having lived there in 1937. The most famous home that attracts most tourists is that of Zhang Ailing that once lived in the Changde apartment in the No.195 on Changde Road. Although you’re not allowed to enter these houses, you can feel the grace and ages of old Shanghai when standing outside.

Shanghai Opera

Shanghai Opera is one of the most representative operas in Shanghai which is popular in Shanghai, South Jiangsu, Hangzhou, Jiaxing, and West Lake of Zhejiang Province. It originated from the side of Huangpu River and folk songs. When it was handed down, it was changed by storytelling and changed in the form of a rap, Tanhuang. During the period of Daoguang, Qing Dynasty, Tanhuang along the Huangpu River was developed into an opera sang and played by two people and three actors play while performing. In addition, there are specified accompanists. In 1898, artists performed in the fixed tea house in Shanghai, which is called Bentan. In 1914, Bentan was renamed the Shen opera. After 1927, Shen opera began to play civilization opera and current affairs opera. In 1941, Shanghai Opera Association was established and Shen opera was officially renamed Shanghai opera.

Shanghai opera is good at expressing modern life and is sung in Shanghai dialect. It is easy to understand and natural. The kind of music with a dense feeling of the Yangtze River delts is loved by Shanghai citizens. Today, many go to see the small theaters and sometimes large living opera will be played in a top theatre.