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Shanghai China People and culture


Shanghai is an eclectic mix of nationalities and ethnic groups, enriching the city culture with unique features. It not only a melting pot for Eastern and Western cultures, but a place, embodying the very essence of Chinese culture created by the mixing of slight  unique shades by various Chinese groups.

The city combines many religions and lifestyles. Taoism, the "native religion" of China, is present in form of several temples. The largest of them is administered by Shanghai Taoist Association and is dedicated to three patron saints of the city.  Wenmiao  temple is dedicated to Confucius.

Buddhism has a presence in China since ancient times. The largest temple is the Longhua Temple, founded in Three Kingdoms period.  Jing'an Temple belongs to the same period. Jade Buddha Temple is famous for large statue of Buddha, carved in jade. Muslim population also has several mosques and cultural centres.

There is a significant Christian and Jewish population in the city. St. Ignatius Cathedral is the largest Catholic church, She Shan Cathedral is the only place of pilgrimage. There was once considerable Eastern Orthodox population in the city.

Shanghainese people are often stereotyped by other Chinese as consumerist and pretentious, but on the other hand they earned a reputation of being professional, stylish, attentive to details and faithful in contract. They are generally known for freedom of thought and modernity.

Shanghai is probably the leading centre of modern Chinese fashion. Its cultural artefacts include cheongsam, a slender tight-fitting garment with high cut sides. It appeared in 1910s, declined in the middle of the century, but later became popular again and gave an impetus to contemporary Chinese fashion. It is now a stylish party dress and an outfit for celebrities.

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