Some of my classmates from other parts of the country once told me their impression of Shanghai landers. They said they had changed their way of looking at Shanghainese. Originally they had been told that Shanghai natives were among the most miserly and calculating people, materialism and money worship being obvious in their character. They were conceited and supercilious due to their favorable living conditions, which indeed hurt the feelings of newcomers and caused their sense of inferiority. They were ambitious in their working fields or even with the intention of defeating everybody surrounding. My classmates had been warned never to get money involved when dealing with Shanghainese or to take Shanghainese into their confidence, which might easily cause themselves in trouble, since hypocrisy and selfishness were their natural disposition. It seemed that the mere strong point of Shanghai landers was their keen sense of fashion, behind which in fact stood their vanity and superficiality. However, after one-year stay in Shanghai, my classmates have got totally different knowledge of Shanghai landers. They told me that in addition to the stylish appearance, Shanghai landers were also impressive in many other aspects. They were easygoing, kindhearted, tolerant, aggressive, and competitive. They had cultivated manners and led a delicate life. And these I totally agree with.
They have style. Shanghai landers are the most modish and trend-setting group. They mind their appearance so much that they have developed a kind of ability to sense all that is or will be popular and to seize almost every chance to make themselves more good-looking. They are found dressed properly and attractively, not without their own styles, and playing a leading role in spreading fashion to other cities. Besides the outside beauty, they also have a colorful inner world. They value the quality of life and pay appropriate attention to life enjoyment. They are serious enough to cultivate themselves. They indulge in reading and thinking and take in what they need from details of life. In the eyes of outsiders, most Shanghai landers are well-bred, well-educated, and good-tasted.
They are kind. Natives of Shanghai are easygoing, warm-hearted, and amazingly tolerant. It is said that during World War II a group of Jewish people who had been forced to leave their homeland came to Shanghai for shelter and became Shanghainese at last, while Jewish, as we know, are the most stiff-necked people in the world who are hardly willing to change their nationality to merge with any other people. But Shanghai natives made it. They moved these war victims by every care they took, by the food and the room they shared, and by the sincerity they delivered.
They are sensible. Those who assume that Shanghai landers are mean actually hold a misunderstanding. They do not really know Shanghainese. As a matter of fact, Shanghai natives are frugal, which should be encouraged, but not stingy. They are clear how to make reasonable use of their money and where they should pour it. There is no exaggeration to say that the money of Shanghai landers performs a better function in their life.
They are competitive. Shanghai landers have aggression. They seem to have more chances to succeed since they are more eager to succeed. They hate to lag behind and choose to compete in a fair environment. They attach great importance to individual achievement but never deny teamwork spirit. They are quick to take in techniques and good at applying them to their work. Furthermore, in Shanghai landers’ eyes, time is extremely valuable. They cannot bear any waste of time and enjoy being occupied, which provides great efficiency and possibility for their success.
Shanghai landers are among the most excellent group. They enjoy exceptional advantages and manage to make full use of them. They are attractive in appearance and in personality, stylish, amiable, sensible, and competitive. And some stereotyped attitudes toward Shanghai landers are gradually being changed.
Thanks for writing this for us. I really enjoyed reading it.
Thank you, maj.