Shanghai Youngs’ Family Time: Fun Things I Do with Family Members

29 Mar

The word “family” means a lot to Chinese people. This is the same with people from Shanghai.

People in the same age with our parents usually have 4 or 5 brothers or sisters, some have even more. After that generation, due to the one-child policy which has been promoted several decades, we younger generations don’t have brothers or sisters any more. So we keep close relationship with our cousins. So, the word “family” usually means the very big family for most of the people in Shanghai.

When there is a holiday to celebrate, family members gather and have all kinds of fun. Here I am going to present you some most common activities and games that we play with family members.

Eating!

My grandparents have 8 children, and my mother is their 7th one. As a big family, we usually make food ourselves at home. And it has a lot fun making food together.

My grandma makes delicious salted chicken, which is called by us as “miracle chicken.” The steps for this Picture of salted chickencuisine is really simple: first boiled the whole chicken with some chopped gingers, and then evenly grease the secret sauce with fingers onto and into the chicken when it is hot. Let it stand for couple minutes, and that’s it! Why it is so delicious? You first need a very good cage-free chicken–not very old one, best if it’s 3 months old. Then, you need to take good command of the boiling time of the chicken–in order to make the meat tender. Last but not least, you need to use your finger to grease the sauce–because the warmth of your finger and palm can let all the flavor go into the meat immediately. Of course my grandma got some secret tips for this dish, and, I won’t tell ya! HAHA~

Now that my grandma is 88 years old so she does not cook anymore. She passed her secret recipe to my uncles, aunties, and my mom. Almost every time we have a family reunion, we have this dish on table.

<picture from wordomouth>

Mahjonging!

I always think the creator of this game is a genius.

4 people sit around a square table to start the game. Mahjong is played with a set of 136 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, although some regional variations use a different number of tiles. In most variations, each player begins by receiving thirteen tiles. In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the fourteenth drawn tile to form four groups and a pair. There are fairly standard rules about how a piece is drawn, stolen from another player, the use of basic and honors, the kinds of melds, and the order of dealing and play.

Different regions have slightly different rules on the details. Shanghai Mahjong is relatively strict with the rules–you may have less chance to win in Shanghai Mahjong than in Sichuan Mahjong. But I think that’s the fun point–the more difficult to win, the more interesting the game is.

We win or lose real money in this game! But it’s not a big deal. We get more intimate relationship with our family members.

<Picture shows me and my cousins playing Majong together.>

Chatting!

It’s our traditional virtue to respect, love, and support our senior grandparents and parents. To make them happy, we need to spend more time with them to release their loneliness. My grandpa has passed away for nearly 8 years. So my uncles, aunties, cousins, my mom and I take turns to take care of my grandma at the weekends. We chat together about all kinds of funny stuffs. We sometimes play Majong with her because she loves this game. Or sometimes we just watch TV series together with her. She is so happy to have all her children and grandchildren around.

<Picture is my mom, my grandma and I>

I found that here in the U.S., people don’t really hang over with their cousins or uncles or aunties as much as we do in Shanghai. American people usually have their family reunion only on Thanksgiving and Christmas. But we Shanghai people have our family members together once several weeks on average. Maybe not that “great reunion”, but we would find some “excuse” to get together and have fun.

Shanghai Expo from a PR Perspective

8 Mar

Expo 2010 gave Shanghai a chance to open its door and welcome friends from all over the world. Also, Expo 2010 gave all other countries a chance to present themselves to the world in Shanghai. Overall, the six months’ exhibition was a success.

As we all know, the next scheduled Universal Exposition after Expo 2010 will be held in Italy. As we are on our half way from Shanghai to Milan, let’s take a professional peek at Shanghai Expo 2010.

Serving the Expo almost covers all the PR perspectives: reputation management, image promotion, event management, media relations, crisis management, and etc. For PR agencies serving the Expo, it is not only a great opportunity for them to enhance their profession, but also a challenge for them to overcome any problems they might encounter.

Like any of the other communication campaigns, whether the key message is reached its audience or not is the most important thing. Simply relying on the official channel of news distribution is not enough. I found one shining point and one problem when communication people spreading the message of China out to the whole world.

<image from Expo 2010 Shanghai’s Facebook Album.>

The shining point—taking advantages of the Chinese people who live overseas.

There are over 40 millions Chinese people who are living their life in another country. And this group of people is playing an important role in these countries because of the non-ignorable number. They have strong emotion about their motherland, and would definitely support the development of China. And their local social status improves their credibility, so that messages from them are acceptable.

To get their support is not difficult. One of the best ways is to start a good relationship with oversea Chinese media. So, the communication department of Shanghai Expo Bureau have kept a positive relationship the oversea Chinese media and had them covered numbers of stories.

<image from Expo 2010 Shanghai Official site.>

Need to improve on—social media

The communication people who serve the Expo did use the Internet as a tool to communicate with people from other countries. One good example is Expo 2010’s official website. People can easily find information they need because the navigation is clear. People can also enroll the volunteer program by following the online process. But no social media sites were linked to the official site. Actually, they did have an active Facebook account and a Twitter account.

Check their website.

@EXPO 2010 Shanghai only has 485 followers. And almost all the tweets are not attractive—simply content plus link. No conversations happen between the organization and the audience.

Check their Twitter.

Their Facebook page is nice-looking and more active. They have more than 500 images uploaded and more than 20 thousands “likes”. But again, few conversations happened between the organization and the audience.

Check their Facebook.

They don’t have a YouTube channel at all.

<image from Matt Carter’s Internet Marketing.>

But Expo 2010 was still a success for it over reached its goal of attracting the participation of 200 countries and international organizations and 70 million visitors. If they could have improved on the above aspects, it would be even a better memory of the whole world.

Exclusively Recommendation of 3 Bars at Shanghai

1 Mar

Shanghai young people are full of energy! Yes, they are! They are having an exciting and brilliant enjoyment of nightlife that the ever-bright city bring to them. After work, they may like to go for a drink with their colleagues or friends. Some excellent bars with music and great views would be their choice. The variety of bars and pubs are the representatives of Shanghai’s nightlife. Today, I would recommend 3 bars that I have tried as an exclusively reward for all my friends and followers’ supporting on this blog!

Top No.3  JZ Club

Reasons for Recommendation

  • Music

Who doesn’t like music?! You should definitely take your dearest friend or your dater to this club! Launched in 2004, JZ Club has become the most representative of all the jazz clubs in Shanghai, and even in China. Everyday in this club, you can enjoy music from classical Standards, buoyant Swing, to refreshing female vocals and modern Jazz Rock. Isn’t it a great choice for relaxing with tasty cocktails and wonderful music?!

I have been there once and was quite impressed by the jazz music the band played that night! I took this picture and I loved that saxophone boy so much! It was really an awesome experience!

<Address: 46 FuXing W. Road,Shanghai

<Price per person: 10 USD

<<Check their website.

【Image from the author】

Top No.2 VUE 

Reasons for recommendation:

  • View

You may have guessed that this bar must has a great view because its name–VUE. Yes, great great view, maybe the best view! VUE located on the 32nd and 33rd floors of the new Hyatt on the Bund, offers tremendous vistas of both the historic waterfront and Pudong, the CBD on the other side of the Huangpu River.

  • Spa under the sky

There is a hot tube for people to enjoy on the upper floor of the bar. In the Spa tube, you could enjoy the great view of the Bund and Pudong with a glass of really good wine.

  • Wine

VUE provides you a full collection of red wines. You can get one free house wine at the entrance.

<Address: 199 Huangpu Road (32rd floor in Hyatt on the Bund)

<Price: 100 RMB (15 USD) entrance fee

<Check their introduction by Hyatt on the Bund.

<<Ladies, enjoy Tuesday night for free entrance!

【Image from the author & 美国往事

Top No.1 Barbarossa

Reasons for Recommendation:

  • Location

This lounge & bar located in the middle of a pond in the middle of People’s Park, which located at the heart of Shanghai. This unique location makes Barbarossa an oasis–a quiet place in the middle of city chaos.

  • Style of Decoration

Moroccan style of decoration makes the bar an exotic one. I love the vaulted Moroccan tents, the pillars with delicate patterns, and the beautiful roof of the architecture. Barbarossa is famous for its roof bar, in which you would have a feeling of on vacation in an foreign country.

  • Food & Fruit-taste Hookah

Food there are pretty good! Because Barbarossa is not only a bar, but a restaurant that makes delicious cuisines! They provide Barbarossa is famous for its rich variety of fruity Hookah. Attaching yourself to your favorite fruit in smoke is really relaxing.

<Address: inside People’s Park, 231 W. Nanjing Rd.

<Price per person: 20 USD

<<Every Wednesday Barbarossa welcomes all the girls to enjoy free selected fresh and sparkling cocktails from 9pm-12am at their roof top terrace!

【Image from the author & 大众点评

Sometime you go to this amazing city, be sure to check out these awesome bars!

Shanghai Young People’s Favorite Social Media Site: Sina Weibo

22 Feb

What is Sina Weibo?

Sina Weibo a Chinese micro blogging website. Akin to Twitter, it is one of the most popular sites in China, in use by well over 30% of Internet users, of which most users are people aged from 18-35. It was launched by SINA Corporation in 2009, and achieved a great success during the following years. Just with in two years—by the time of November 2011, Sina Weibo has more than 250 million registered users.

I can say that nearly 90% of my friends are active Sina Weibo users. I am following 491 accounts and I have 916 followers. I am a absolute Weibo girl with 5659 micro blogs published.

Image shows information of my Weibo account>

What can Weibo do?

I keep up with my friends back at home through Weibo. Everyday in the evening—while they are at the beginning of the day, I can hear from my dear friends saying good morning or complaining about the traffic or weather. That makes me feel close with them, as if I am not at the opposite side of the Pacific.

As I am at the process of becoming a PR practitioner, I realized many things that Weibo can do other than just keeping up with friends. It is a powerful communication tool—because it is a net, and people gather on this net. Let’s see how powerful the net is.

The power of weibo

Reasons why Weibo is so popular

  • User-friendly

It is easy to use. Pictures are easy to see, you can follow anyone easily by clicking a button, you can also download app for your mobile phones.

  • Fast

The information is easy to get, so it is easy to spread. People find information actively, and “viral” the information.

  • Informative

Weibo has become sources of information for many people, including me.

  • New person to person relationship

You can follow anyone on the site. It is not like LinkedIn, you need some relationship to get connect with someone. It is not like Facebook, you search someone through the information that you already know—school, gender, email, etc. You can actually see anyone’s account. This is a brand new relationship format.

 Weibo, as well as Twitter, is the fastest media ever!

The last minute thing is the next minute’s “viral”. On the small column called “hottest topics”, you can see what people are talking about this minute on Weibo. That’s why many marketers and communication people use Weibo as a very important platform to distribute their products and to spread out their messages.

I talked so much about Weibo because I take it as a part of my daily life. Actually, you are out of fashion if you are not an active user of Sina Weibo! Follow me on Sina Weibo: @王妙妙欢乐多

<Images are all from the author.>

Shanghai Young People’s Favorite Foods: Traditional Top 5

14 Feb

You can not understand a city without tasting its traditional cuisine. That’s quite true!

You can not understand a group of people without having an idea of what they are fond of eating. That’s still true!

What are Shanghai young people having in their plates? The answer is–traditional Shanghai cuisine!

These days, it is very popular among young people in Shanghai to go nostalgic by exploring the traditional foods.

Let’s take a peek at Shanghai young people’s favorite top 5 traditional foods.

No. 1Image of Xiaolongbao

Xiaolongbao–Steamed  Bun

Xiaolongbao is a kind of soup dumplings with thin flour made skin outside and flavored meat inside. From Qing dynasty till now, Xiaolongbao has a history of over 100 years. When eating a Xiaolongbao, you need to  open a small hole at first and then enjoy the juice inside the little bun very slowly–or you will burn your mouth.

Image from: 上海在线

image of cifantuanNo. 2

Cifantuan–Sticky Rice Roll

It is made by tightly wrapping a piece of youtiao (fried dough) with sticky rice. Usually, we like to put some kinds of pickles and shredded pork in it. I found that  Chipotle’s burrito has some similarities with cifantuan. Usually we eat cifantuan as breakfast together with sweetened or savory soy milk.

Image from: Day Green 日青

No. 3image of shengjian

Shengjian Mantou–Pan Fried Bun

Shengjian mantou is a very traditional specialty of Shanghai. It also has flour made skin outside and flavored meat inside, but the skin is thicker than Xiaolongbao. It is usually filled with pork and gelatin that melts into soup/liquid when cooked. Shengjian mantou has been one of the most common breakfast items in Shanghai for the last century.

This is a clip shot at the most famous Shengjian Station in Shanghai.

Reference: wikipedia

Image from: 新浪上海 

image of SanxianwontonNo. 4

Sanxian Huntun–Three Delicacies Wonton

We make clear distinction between large wonton and small wonton. Small wontons are casually wrapped by closing the palm on a wrapper with a dab of pork filling as if crumpling a sheet of paper. Sanxian huntun can be literally translated into “three delicacies wonton”. Because the wontons are served in chicken soup with laver and chopped pan fried eggs.

When I was a little girl, I went to a very old, nation-owned breakfast restaurant everyday and ordered this delicious cuisine for breakfast. It was a treasurable memory of mine.

Image from: 上海热线 Shanghai Hotline

No. 5jiuniang yuanzi

Jiuniang Yuanzi–Glutinous Rice Dumpling in Sweet Rice Wine Soup

Although jiuniang is similar to an unfiltered rice wine in that it is mildly alcoholic, it contains whole rice grains and is often made with sweet osmanthus flowers. Yuanzi is a kind of small rice dumpling, but contains no filling.

I enjoy the aroma of sweet osmanthus flower and rice wine with small cutie rice dumplings!

Image from: 阿邦网

————————————————————————————————————————————

shanghai's changeWhy we go nostalgic?

People around my age (born in 1980s) are becoming the mainstay of our society. And I think our generation is very special because we not only have witnessed the amazing changes that information era brought to the whole human beings, but also are enjoying the convenience it brought.

When we were little kids, our city is not that crowded and the cost of living is not that unaffordable. People were living in a simple but happy life. But nowadays, we can only feel the rush of the city life. Therefore, me and my friends are always having a sense of nostalgia though we are enjoying the benefits brought by the information age. So, one of our ways to cherish the memory of the old Shanghai is to explore traditional Shanghai-styled foods.

Can you imagine that the first picture was shot in 1990?

Image from: 遨游网

Shanghai Young People’s Weekend: Afternoon-Tea

8 Feb

After a week’s stressful work, how would young people in Shanghai spend their weekends? You may want to take a breath at the countryside out of the city, or you may want to stay at home and sleep over the daytime… But for me, I think there is nothing better than enjoying a cup of cappuccino and a bite of tiramisu with my best friend at a quiet and beautiful place, chatting and watching all kinds of people passing by, and thinking nothing about work or study.

Afternoon-tea has become a kind of culture among the young people in Shanghai. When I logged on my Weibo account (some kind of Chinese version of Twitter), I can always see my friends posting pictures of their afternoon-tea time. So jealous! I wish I could fly back to join them.

Today, I am going to take you to my favorite place for afternoon-tea.

Le Petit Jardin

Le Petit Jardin resembles a vintage shop from the outside—you can see old-fashioned European style furniture through the window, but upon entering, you would feel as if you’ve stepped into someone’s house. You can explore Me at Le Petit Jardenthe entire shop first and decide where you want to sit. Do you want to sit at the garden with the surround of adorable cats or do you want to sit at the bar? Every spot is different because of the tables and chairs are from different designers, but the host made them perfectly match the style of the shop.

Their menu is also designed perfectly fit the shop’s vintage style—hand-wrote and decorated. Dariole au chocolat (chocolate lava cake) is recommended by many customers, but I personally like tiramisu best. You can also grab some books from any shelves, and spend the whole afternoon there. If you decide that you want to spend your evening there, the host offers great food: Caesar Salad and all kinds of spaghettis.

Chocolate cake cappuccino at Le Petit Jarden

Address: 220 Kangping Rd.

Price: 68 RMB/person (10 USD/person).

Transportation: Subway Line1, Subway Line9.

Find it on Google Map.

The author holds the copyright of the above images.

Other places I would recommend for afternoon-tea:

Guyuan Tea HouseTraditional Chinese style entrance

Taste the real Chinese tea here.

Address: 1315 Fuxing Rd.

Price: 80 RMB/person (13 USD/person).

Transportation: Subway Line 1, Subway Line 7.

The image is from 大众点评网

I Lost Shanghai

Quiet afternoon tea Jing anSmell and feel the old Shanghai in a quiet neighborhood near downtown.

Address: No.33 Lane 1025 Nanjing Rd W.

Price: 40 RMB/person (6 USD/person).

Transportation: Subway Line2.

The image is from 大众点评网

Shanghai Must-Knows

25 Jan

The magic city--Shanghai-http://img.club.pchome.net/upload/club/other/2009/12/4/pics_yuwen119_1275111025.jpg

How much do you know about Shanghai?

The biggest city of China, the economic center of Asia, fashionable, fast moving, etc.

What else? Maybe that’s all you have known about the city.

But don’t you want to know more about this fancy city?

I listed some “MUST KNOW” facts about my hometown–Shanghai.

Bullets About Shanghai

  • Location—31° 12′ 0″ N, 121° 30′ 0″ E

Shanghai sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River in the middle portion of the Chinese coast.

  • Importance

Due to its excellent port, Shanghai has been the most important economic, financial, trade and shipping center in China since ancient time.

  • Language

The vernacular language is Shanghainese, a dialect of Wu Chinese; while the official language is Standard Mandarin.

The local dialect is mutually unintelligible with Mandarin, and is an inseparable part of the Shanghainese identity.

  • Population

It possesses a population of 23 millions, of which 8.9 millions are floating people.

Brief Modern History of the City

The British Army entered Shanghai and opened it as a treaty in 1840. Many other countries set up concessions in Shanghai. By setting up enterprises in industries of shipping, banking, printing, pharmacy, architecture and public utilities, these countries, along with the Qing government, made Shanghai become an “Adventurer’s Paradise.”

Since that time, modern industry developed quickly in Shanghai until the city started to suffer from World War II. The lack of raw material resulted in declining industry and economy, the lack of daily necessities and severe inflation.

In May 1949 Shanghai was liberated. It became a municipality directly under the Central Government on Oct 1 of 1949, and began to revive.

In 1978, Shanghai benefited greatly from the reform and opening-up national policies. People’s living standard has been improved since that time. Open-minded introduction of foreign capital, advanced foreign technologies and management methods speeded up its development. Nowadays the international metropolis of Shanghai is an influential economic power in the world and undoubtedly an economic, financial, trade, cultural, science and technology center of China.

beautiful view restaurantCulture of Shanghai—all rivers run into sea.

In general, the coastal regions of China have higher economic development level than those cities located in the inner part of China. Meanwhile, southern cities enjoyed a better development of economics than northern cities.

Located in the southeast part of the mainland, Shanghai has enjoyed the name of “Pearl of the Orient” for its history. It is the biggest port in the Far East region. Shanghai is also the economic center of China. Unlike other traditional Chinese cities, it has absorbed many foreign influences, making it an unusual cosmopolitan. Foreign culture has influenced Shanghainese people’s life style a lot. Shanghainese respect western culture a lot.

In their daily life, People spent every penny wisely. Though most people are not rich, but we still want to be elegant and gentleman. People pay attention on their quality of life a lot. They classified themselves into “petty bourgeoisie”. For example, young people in Shanghai may care more about the environment than the food when deciding where to eat. Hi-tea is one of the most “in” activities among young people. Sitting by a window of fantastic view, chatting with one or two best friends–what a fabulous afternoon!

Now you have a basic idea about the city and its people. Be sure to check back to learn more about the new Shanghai!

Sources referred: TravelChinaGuide.