(Reporter Li Ying) On June 8, on the occasion of the 14th Chinese Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, Jing'an District launched two routes for walking - “Cultural North Shaanxi Road” and “Memory · Revival - Suhe Bay,” for the citizens to look back upon its history and review the Shanghai culture, urban culture, red culture and Chinese merchant culture in Jing’an. The 8 cultural venues in Jing’an such as the Site Memorial of the Second National Congress of CPC and the newly-opened Minsheng Art Museum were free to the public on that day. The heritage themed events were carried out in Jing’an District Cultural Center. The events, which included seven parts such as display, performance, exhibition, heritage, interaction and experience were an amazing feast for citizens.
Seeking the Cultural Traces in North Shaanxi Road
There are more than 20 old buildings with historical, cultural and artistic value in the District of Chinese History and Culture of North Shaanxi Road. The route starts from the Display and Consultation Center of the District of Chinese History and Culture of North Shaanxi Road to the former site of Chongde Girls’ Middle School in the old Shanghai (the present No. 71 Middle School affiliated to Tongji University), He Dong Mansion (the present Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House), and the site of Shanghai University, which served to train senior CPC members during the first cooperation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party (the present greenbelt in North Shaanxi Road and Nanyang Road). It helps citizens and tourists to trace the history and demonstrates the cultural diversity in North Shaanxi Road.
Following the former site of Chongde Girls’ Middle School, the second station is He Dong Mansion, the property of He Dong, the first richest man of Hong Kong. Since 1958, He Dong Mansion has become the Dictionary Compilation Office of Zhonghua Book Company. The new version of Ci Hai before 1949 or after the founding of the People's Republic of China was created here. At the event, the exhibition revolving around Ci Hai and A Collection of Tang Poems and Song Lyrics was especially held for citizens and tourists, where experts in dictionary illustrated the history of dictionary compilation and the features of different versions.
The tour group then went to the site of Shanghai University. In 1924, the university moved from Qingyunli in Zhabei to Nanyang intersection of Ximo Road. Back then, Whampoa to cultivate military talents and Shanghai University for liberal arts were equally reputed. In 1925, May Thirtieth Movement was launched from the university.
Feeling the Changes of the City by the Suhe Bay
At the beginning of the 20th century, Suhe Bay was one of the most prosperous industrial and commercial centers in Shanghai. The starting point of the “Memory · Revival - Suhe Bay” tour is the former site of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, the renovation of which was completed last year. The organizer Jing'an District Cultural Protection Center invited experts such as Ling Yingsong, engineer in renovation from Shanghai Chamber of Commerce for the illustration of Suhe Bay in terms of architecture, history and culture. They sorted out the map of revival of the Suhe Bay area and depicted its future cultural scenario for citizens and tourists.
The person in charge of the Culture and Tourism Bureau of Jing'an District said that the renovation of Suhe Bay was started in 2010, for which several old buildings were repaired and restored. The former site of Shanghai Chamber of Commerce and that of the Jardine Packing Factory are open to public with limited time and use. Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, which newly settled in Xinyefang of Jing'an, was also opened for free on June 8.
"Sketches of Zhangyuan Garden" themed Postcards Make Their Debut
Zhangyuan Garden, located in the core area of the West Nanjing Road Protected Area, witnessed the last Shikumen era in Shanghai. By the end of May, the residents and businesses were all relocated. The area was currently closed. The Cultural Protection Center of Jing’an and Sketch Shanghai jointly launched the "Sketches of Zhangyuan Garden" themed postcards (12 in 1 set) on June 8. The organizer sent the autographed postcards as gifts to the former residents, other citizens and tourists. Every brick and tile on the postcard remind people of the life in Shikumen and the changes in the city.
A Touch of the Intangible Heritage in Jing’an
Shaoxing Opera is closely related to Jing’an. “The Performing Arts of Qi Bi Shaoxing Opera” was rated as the intangible heritage in Shanghai in 2007. On June 8, the repertoires of Qi Bi’s classical performances greatly delighted opera fans in the Cultural Center of Jing’an. The inheritors Wang Hangjuan, Fu Xingwen and Zou Hong were greeted with applause with wonderful performances.
The Culture and Tourism Bureau of Jing'an District worked with Shanghai Center of Chinese Operas in introducing Shaoxing Opera to the audience. Fan Tingting, inheritor of the “Jin (Caifeng) School” and a national second-grade actress, was invited here and enabled local residents to feel the charm and fun of Shaoxing Opera through singing, acting and interacting with the audience.
In addition, other experience-oriented events were held in the Cultural Center such as those around the making of buttons and brooches in shapes of dragon, phoenix and butterfly, Leiyunshang perfume satchels and Kaisiling cakes, which attracted many citizens. At the same time, a bric-a-brac exhibition for intangible heritage protection titled “Jujiang” and a picture show “intangible heritage in the community” were held, which were other attractions in Jing’an.
It is reported that the cultural center of the 14 communities in Jing’an holds one brilliant event themed intangible cultural heritage each day from June 7 to 9. At present, Jing'an has 16 intangible cultural heritage sites, and 18 inheritors have settled in the cultural center of the community to carry out normalized transmission and inheritance. A total of 126 events were held from January to the early June this year to raise public awareness of and participation in the protection of intangible cultural heritage and create a good social atmosphere in this regard.