Trendy Shanghai 时尚的上海
A: Some MNC employees in Shanghai prefer speaking English than Chinese. Many people disapprove of this phenomenon as a blind worship of western culture.
B: I’m not surprised that this could happen in Shanghai. As a poor city, Shanghai was heavily influenced by western culture, beginning in the 1920s and 1930s.It was called “a paradise of the adventurers”. A lot of western companies opened offices there as trade in commons began to develop. New ideas were brought in, together with the arrival of businessmen and foreigners. Shanghai residence were overwound with important merchandise, foreign languages and jobs in foreign companies. As result, Shanghai people are very open-minded and receptive to new things.
A: I know many westerners like Shanghai because of its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Shanghai people are smart and pragmatic. They are business-minded and have a high standard of ethics. For example, you seldom hear people accuse Shanghai taxi drivers of cheating. If you ask Shanghai person for directions, he (she) will show you the most efficient route to your destination.
B: Many new things were initially introduced to China through Shanghai. In the 1920s, some Shanghai art schools were the first in the country to use human models. Shanghai was also the first city to have movies. In the late 1970s, Shanghai was again among the first cities to send students to study abroad. Shanghai made products such as watches、bicycles and sewing machines and enjoyed a very favorable reputation throughout the country even during the years of central economic planning. This reputation still benefits Shanghai today.
A: People from other cities always feel the Shanghai people are biased against them.
B: This is indeed very perplexing. A city as open and developed as Shanghai doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate others. In the past, an outsider who didn’t speak the Shanghai dialect was always ignored by the shop assistants. Now, there are more and more MNC employees prefer speaking English. Non-English speakers feel disadvantaged.
A: Some people say Shanghai doesn’t look like a Chinese city. It is more like New York. People used to make that comment in the 1930s. In many ways, Shanghai does look like New York. It is not New York. It is a Chinese city no matter what.