Western Influences on Folk-Custom in Shanghai

11 November 2016

The change of Folk-custom is an important part of the change of society. As a metropolis in China, Shanghai combines her own features with many other country’s history and culture. As a result, the Folk-customs in Shanghai have changed a lot due to the impact of western culture. The influences on proprieties As a traditional city in China, Shanghai paid much attention to the etiquette and custom when people met together in the old days. At that time, people must make a bow with hands folded in front, worship on bended knees or pay respects to the others according to their social status.

Worship on bended knees is a posture to show compliment to others, in order to symbolize the rating of society. While people of the same generation always make a bow with hands folded in front. Besides, the titles of Milord, madam and panjandrum were popular used. Due to the impact of western culture, the proprieties in Shanghai have changed a lot. When people meet each other, they always shake hands or bow down, just like the westerners do. And they use “Mr. ”,“Ms. ” or “ lady” as the titles instead of the ones which have the strong character of rating.

Bow, handshake, applause and the act of unbonneting have become the new proprieties which are received from western culture. This kind of change mainly originated from the spirit of equality of western culture. And the change reflects the equal relationship between the social members and reflects the advancement of the society. The influences on consumption The incursion of western capitalism and the development of the business bring about the dramatic changes to Shanghai. The western life style has a great effect on the consumption habit and leads to the variance of consumption in Shanghai.

Horse race, boat race, tennis ball, football, Western-style food, beer, western mug-up and drink, park, concert, film and some other life styles are all leading to the change of consumption in Shanghai. The influences on clothing The history of Chinese clothing is of long standing. The clothing was also reflecting the class-based society and strict ethical codes. Gown was the typical old Chinese clothing, while the women wore cheongsams. The abuse of such clothing was not corresponds to the requirement of equality and did not match the increasing cadence of life. So, people in Shanghai began to accept the western clothing.

Chemise, overcoat, trousers, shoe leather, socks were gradually popularized in Shanghais. The western elements in clothing are increasing day by day. The influences on diet There is an ancient Chinese remark still going around like this. “Food is the paramount necessity of people. ” China is a country with a splendid catering culture. For a very long time, the habit of diet in Shanghai didn’t changed a lot. But as the infiltration of the western culture, the western diet is introduced to Shanghai, and some western food is becoming more and more popular in Shanghai.

Champagne, tea with milk, carbonated drink, ice cream, bread and cake are widely accepted by people of Shanghai. This shows that western diet culture has brought about great changes in diet structure in Shanghai. All the aspects of folk-customs as mentioned upwards can reflect the great impact which is given to Shanghai by the western culture. The communication between Chinese culture and western culture has been enhanced and the two kinds of cultures have reached to an amalgamation. Shanghai has absorbed the elite of western culture, and the society of Shanghai encourages diversification and combines the strengths of the east and the west.

The ways of life, communication and expressing ideas also become various and diversity, However, during the process of absorbing the western culture, some problems also appeared. When people of Shanghai pursue the life style of West and be addicted to the western culture a lot, they will lose their sense to the traditional Chinese culture. When the Christmas and Valentine’s Day become more and more popular while dragon boat festival and festival of lanterns fade away from public sight gradually, the threaten to traditional Chinese culture is more and more austere.

How to deal with the western culture is a pressing social problem for Shanghai. In my opinion, one the one hand, people in Shanghai should improve their cultural quality, which is the essential way to effect a permanent cure. We should take efforts to learn Chinese culture by ourselves and increase the understanding of Chinese culture. The government and the culture industry should also create an atmosphere of social culture and look on the western culture with a placid perspective. On the other hand, we should take efforts to create and shape our own brand of culture.

We should use an active way to control the egregious pervasion of western culture. In a word, the key to adopting Western culture centers on accepting the good and rejecting the bad. We should not gulp any of this foreign material down uncritically, but must treat it as we do our food–first chewing it, then submitting it to the working of the stomach and intestines with their juices and secretions, and separating it into nutriment to be absorbed and waste matter to be discarded–before it can nourish us.

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