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Tuesday 27 February 2018鈥?Shanghai Daily

on hand, helping the needy in transit                                                                                               Spicy start

ked during    wheelchairs, a microwave       five-month baby.             treatment covered by           For Liu, the unexpected    livens up a
al holidays,  and a nursing room. Free          鈥淭here is no other way,鈥? medical insurance.          is not uncommon. He once
 a waiting    hot water and blankets                                                                  had to lead a group of eight  new year
 ai Railway   are provided.                  he said of his work. 鈥淲e        At a stopover in Shang-  blind passengers through
ed in peak                                   have to be on duty to en-    hai Railway Station, she    green channel to take a       Liu Zhihong, 47, came to Shanghai from
tion.            鈥淭here are only four of     sure that everything is in   was suffering severe pain.  train. On another occasion,   Hunan Province 22 years ago, marrying a
 old is re-   us on a shift, and we had      proper order.鈥?              Liu called an ambulance.    an elderly woman vomited      Shanghai man and living in a traditional lane-
 a special    to serve about 500-600                                                                  all over his uniform.         style house.
r the elder-  passengers a day during           His job requires a keen      鈥淲e opened a green
, pregnant    the Spring Festival travel     eye, extreme patience and    channel for her,鈥?he said.     鈥淚 am now trying to build     She loved her new home but couldn鈥檛 forget
sing moth-    rush,鈥?Liu said.               quick reactions.             鈥淎t first she didn鈥檛 want   contacts with associations    the spicy flavors of her origins. So she cooks
eople with                                                                to go anywhere but home,    that care for the disabled    specialties from her hometown to this day.
 The room        Last year during the           Not long ago, he had      but we finally persuaded    and elderly so that I can
including     Chinese New Year, he           to deal with a migrant       her to see a doctor here.   share information with           For the Spring Festival, she prepared duoji-
              managed to get a day off       worker from neighboring      We accompanied her to       them and learn how to pro-    ao yutou, or fish head steamed with chopped
              to get married. This year,     Jiangsu Province, who        hospital and booked tick-   vide more convenience for     chili peppers.
              he hardly had time to          had leg injuries from a      ets for her relatives to    such passengers,鈥?he said.
              spend with his wife and        work accident. She need-     come to Shanghai.鈥?                                          Like Sichuan, Hunan is home to China鈥檚
                                             ed to get home to have                                                                 spiciest cuisine. Duojiao, a signature dish of
                                                                                                                                    Hunan, uses pickled chili sauce made from
ssors paper the                                                                                                                     fresh hot chilies. Paring the sauce with a
n a festive red                                                                                                                     steamed fish head is among the most famous
                                                                                                                                    dishes.
of the Spring Festival, Sun Jihai, 69, an
 ith scissors, cut red paper decorations                                                                                               鈥淓very Hunan family makes this dish on
Chinese for festive occasions and gave                                                                                              special occasions,鈥?Liu said.
people in the Jing鈥檃n Cultural Center.
 鈥檛 charge them anything because what                                                                                                  In Chinese, the pronunciation for 鈥渇ish鈥?is
 is just to share traditional culture,鈥?he                                                                                          yu, the same as the word 鈥渟urplus.鈥?Also, red
 ople are easily attracted by giveaways.                                                                                            in China carries an auspicious meaning.
when they stop to talk to me about the
 f paper-cutting in China.鈥?                                                                                                           Liu鈥檚 secret menu is her homemade red chili
 sture was so popular that Sun barely                                                                                               sauce.
 ke a break for a drink of water. People
him asking for traditional cutouts, like                                                                                               鈥淚 changed the ingredients a bit,鈥?she admit-
hinese zodiac animals.                                                                                                              ted. 鈥淎nd I use peppers grown in Shanghai,
 cuts used to be ubiquitous in China.                                                                                               which taste a little bit sweeter.鈥?  with auspicious meanings were cut
per and hung on windows and doors                                                                                                      She buys peppers when they are at their
estivals and for special occasions like                                                                                             peak in autumn, seasons them with salt and
 s. But the custom has faded in big cities                                                                                          seals them in jars to pickle.
  n times.
 p such cultural heritage alive in con-                                                                                                Liu now works for the old Shengping neigh-
 ry society, Sun has held a variety of                                                                                              borhood of the Nanjing Road W. When she
 o teach people the ancient folk art.                                                                                               first came to Shanghai, she sold newspapers
dents鈥?have included children and the                                                                                               to make money.

mple, and everyone can do it,鈥?he said.      Far above: Sun Jihai shows off his paper-cutting work. Above: Traditional Chinese         鈥淚 couldn鈥檛 speak the Shanghai dialect, so
 Sun was working his magic in the            paper-cutting delights the young people. 鈥?Jiang Xiaowei                               many people just passed me by and bought
Cultural Center, a group of children                                                                                                newspapers from a native competitor,鈥?she
worked on modern interpretations of                                                                                                 said. 鈥淏ut everything has changed since
 al paper-cuts. Their artwork included                                                                                              then. Shanghai has become more open and
 in cutouts of local landmarks, such as                                                                                             inclusive.鈥? emple and the Paramount dance hall.
 nt to perpetuate the charm of papercut-                                                                                               When she moved to the Shengping neigh-
d center official Xu Qiyao. 鈥淲e cut out the                                                                                         borhood more than 20 years ago, she, her
ks for the children to color in. We hope                                                                                            husband and child lived in a cramped 20-
 lls pride in them for the district.鈥?                                                                                              meter-square room.

                                                                                                                                       鈥淲e had to share a kitchen and toilet with
                                                                                                                                    four other families,鈥?she said, adding that
                                                                                                                                    everyone was quite good at keeping 鈥減roper
                                                                                                                                    distances鈥?with others.

                                                                                                                                       鈥淎t that time, we all had one water meter,鈥?                                                                                                                                    she said. 鈥淚 remember I was once asked to pay
                                                                                                                                    5.56 yuan (87.5 US cents), and I gave the person
                                                                                                                                    collecting 5.6 yuan. But the person insisted on
                                                                                                                                    giving me 0.04 yuan in change. That was so
                                                                                                                                    heartening.鈥?A district-wide overhaul of old
                                                                                                                                    houses has given Liu and her family their own
                                                                                                                                    kitchen and toilet facilities.

ain of rice celebrates home flavors

llar workers based in Jing鈥檃n gather ahead of the      China is known for its wide va-        鈥淛ing鈥檃n white-collar workers         Liu Zhihong鈥檚 signature Hunan dish duojiao
estival to celebrate the launch of a set of emoticons  riety of regional cuisines. Every   come from everywhere,鈥?said              yutou 鈥?Jiang Xiaowei
y designed for them. 鈥?Jiang Xiaowei                   hometown has a signature dish       Shi Yichan, who heads a district
                                                       that brightens up Spring Festival   social group called Bailing Yijia,
                                                       family dinners and evokes happy     or 鈥減ost house for white collar
                                                       memories among locals, no mat-      workers,鈥?and released the set of
                                                       ter where they eventually live.     emoticons. 鈥淚 hope people used
                                                                                           the emoticons during Spring Fes-
                                                          Playing on such tradition, a     tival and sent them to friends,
                                                       Jing鈥檃n social group created a set  both in their hometowns and
                                                       of emoticons using a cartoonish     Jing鈥檃n as well.鈥?                                                       grain of rice added to signature
                                                       regional dishes and uploaded it        Bailing Yijia, set up in 2009, has
                                                       on WeChat.                          organized a variety of activities
                                                                                           for local white-collar workers,
                                                          Examples include the cartoon-    providing a platform to make
                                                       ish rice stuffed into the classic   friends and find soulmates.
                                                       Hangzhou dish xihu cuyu, or
                                                       West Lake fish in vinegar gravy,       鈥淲e have members volunteer-
                                                       alongside the traditional Chi-      ing to help our operation and
                                                       nese blessing of nian nian you      create hobby groups,鈥?Shi said.
                                                       yu, or 鈥減lenty to spare, year       鈥淭hey come up with ideas and or-
                                                       after year.鈥?                       ganize activities by themselves.鈥?/code>
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