Shanghai – The Shinning City Of The New Age China
Shanghai has always been an exemplary city of the People’s Republic of China. This cosmopolitan as well as a metropolitan city comfortably situated on the extensive banks of river Yangtze, is now fast on its journey to join the global band of world’s most happening cities. It is aptly assuring the world of being a city that has immense potential in contributing to the global economy. Shanghai is the largest city of China and the eight largest in the world. The city is a gentle blend of the traditional oriental culture gelling well with the modern western flair as can been in its architecture and modern way of thought and living. River Huangpu flowing amid the city has split the city. Puxi is the old city on the western side while the Pudong on the east is the ravishing new.
Shanghai as the most populous and most developed city of China has always been the bastion of intellectual, cultural, financial, commercial and industrial eminence. From its humble origins as a seaside fishing hamlet before twelfth century, Shanghai is currently the hub of software, electronics, communications and citadel of modern China’s economy and finance. Shanghai has the distinction of being the largest commercial hub of the Far East and third in the world only after New York and London. It is equipped with the world’s largest and busiest ports besides other high-speed means of transportation and communication. Shanghai has rightly been referred as the ‘Queen of the Orient’ and ‘Paris of the East’ attracting both the tourist as well as business communities from worldwide horizons galore.
Like other global biggies Shanghai does face the challenges linked with mass immigration of the workforce flocking in here from other towns and cities. Most of the tribulations are in terms of housing problems, huge wealth gap, environmental degradation, stressful living and other of the like associated inevitably with life in big cities. But then these challenges are fast resolved by higher resolution by its inhabitants to come up to the elevated world standards and gear up to competition with greater zest. The struggle to keep alive in maddening hustle-bustle of big cities becomes a way of life for its populace. It is only under such circumstances that humans get the platform to show their best.
Time has proved that the inhabitants of the city of Shanghai have lived up to the immense standards and delivered only the best. Modern sky kissing tall buildings shinning with neon lights illuminating in the backdrop of the dark , brisk movements of men and material, high speed toll highways, wide roads, up to date lifestyle, sophisticated technology and high deliverance can make any foreigner green or teary eye with envy. Indeed these are the signs of economic growth and development that the land and the inhabitants of Shanghai appear to have promised themselves for. The city that does not sleep for it is perpetually abuzz with varied activities each contributing in its own way to the vibrancy and dynamism of the city.
The road to development was not an easy one considering the Opium wars, Taipang Rebellion and occupation by the Japanese besides other political upheavals and competition from Hong Kong that could have played havoc with the city but for the undying spirit of the city. Today Shanghai is a haven for the business and financial community and a shopper’s paradise catering to the pockets of every kind. Here ancient structures and traditional residences and markets move shoulder to shoulder with modern skyscrapers and contemporary shopping malls. Nanjing Road is the modern shoppers’ delight and for those with artistic taste Yuyuan Bazaar is the answer. Shanghai’s restaurants serve commendable culinary delights on the lines of the Yang Zhou, Guangzhou, and Beijing, Sichuan as well its resident cuisine.
Shanghai is a home to may religions. Taoism, the religion based on the indigenous Chinese philosophical thought is practiced by the majority. The City God temple located in the heart of the old city is a house to three deities revered by the natives as the protectors of this exclusive city. The Wenmiao temple is bestowed to the great thinker Confucius and the Temple Three Kingdoms is offered to General Guan Yu.
Besides this the city has the presence of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Of worth mentioning and most popular destination is the Jade Buddha Temple, where the creative statue of Lord Buddha is carved from the precious gem jade. Shanghai also houses other religious places of importance as the Songjiang Mosque in Songjiang province, the traditional Xiaotaoyuan Mosque in the old city. The other notable religious places are Dongjiadu Cathedral, She Shan Cathedral and the St. Ignatius Cathedral in Xujiahui district.