Houston Community News >> Foreigners Show Zeal for Local Life in Shanghai

5/10/2007 Beijing – With the international exchanges deepening, more and more foreigners have come to and live in Shanghai. They have a growing demand for being part of the local life of Shanghai and experiencing Chinese culture. Many of them have moved from the luxury residential communities of Shanghai into common communities near their Chinese friends. They learn from their Chinese neighbors how to cook Chinese cuisine, how to speak Chinese. They also want to celebrate Chinese festivals as Chinese do.

“It's been two years since I came here. I used to live in the Gubei District where many foreigners live. When I became familiar with this city, I started looking for a department which could help me better enjoy local life, and I finally found my new house in the Beixinting Community, where a lot of Shanghainese live,” said Johnson, from Australia, to the reporter.

According to Johnson, “Xiexie” (thank you) are the only Chinese words he could speak when he first came to China. But now he has improved so much that he can even shoot the breeze with his Chinese neighbors. What’s more, he plans to learn Chinese calligraphy with the help of an old man living in the neighborhood.

The reporter has found this phenomenon popular in other communities in the districts of Changning, Hongkou, Jing’an, etc.. It is the cheap rent, convenient transportation and especially the dense local culture that have attracted so many foreigners to choose to live with Chinese as their next-door neighbors.

Some statistics show that over 10, 000 foreigners are now studying or working in Shanghai. Local Chinese citizens are getting more and more accustomed to having people of different nationalities as their friends and neighbors. Many activities are held in the communities to help foreigners better blend in the local life of Shanghai, such as “foreigners speaking Shanghai dialect’,” Chinese acquirements competition among foreigners”, etc..

(Contributed by Chinanews)