Shanghai Stock Exchange
Starbucks and the Chinese Communist Party, 3 June 2001
Reflections from Jeff Payne
The above picture is of a scene not unique in Shanghai, save that the back building in this photograph is the location of the 1st National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Shanghai is the pride and joy of the new China, being the economic model that is promoting growth throughout the rest of this nation. Yet, in this scene one can recapture the sense of what the People’s Republic of China was once on the path of becoming. A Socialist Model or a Socialist Nightmare depending upon your ideology. Here, in this building, within the French Concession of old Shanghai, figures like Mao Zedong congregated to set the foundation of thier Communist creed. Now that dream is gone and in its place is the government of Mao, but a nation full of Starbucks. The comforts of home in a land that is foreign. Considering the beginnings of this nation, however, I believe it is impossible not to respect the power of this place. But also, one could mourn the dream of Communist China, seeing it through the eyes of Starbucks. Shanghai is an amazing place full of these paradoxes. Seeing it all for the first time is often overwhelming, and always incredible.
Buddhism in the Rain, 4 June 2001
Reflections from Jen Fugate
Today Fuji and I went to the Jing An Temple here in Shanghi. The temple is currently being renovated and it rained all day, so needless to say it was not very crowded. In this picture I am looking at the depiction of the life of Budd ha. Fuji and I spent several minutes here as he explained the significance of each individual picture. Compared to the Jade Buddha Temple, the Jing An Temple lacked monks. This doesn’t mean that they weren’t there, but they were probably just looking down from a window somewhere thinking “Look at those stupid Westerners out in the rain.”
Shanghai Rock, 5 June 2001
Reflections from Matt Guebard
This is a picture of the growing music scene in Shanghai. The fans and bands pictured here have been influenced a great deal by the American grunge and death metal scene of the early 90s. Even though the American influence can be seen, there is a sense that this is a real movement among the fans. Walking into the concert, I felt as if it was the beginning of something that could be compared to a counter-cultural movement. The bands have taken their musical influences and changed them into something that can only be described as Chinese. I must admit that the music could use some work, but it’s a start.
Intel Inside (China), 6 June 2001
Reflections from Becca Dayhuff
Today we visited Intel’s fourth oldest factory located in the Pudong district of Shanghai. We were given a brief overview of the factory by the factory manager who was brought in from Malaysia to help the factory get started and establish the community of Intel, a culture found in all of its factories and offices throughout the world. We then were taken on a window tour of the factory. Only two of the four production steps for flash memory were done at this plant, assembly and testing. The group found it to be a very interesting afternoon filled with facts about globalization from a corporate standpoint.
Liz’s Good Luck and Jen’s Bad Luck, 7 June 2001
Back to the Jade Buddha Temple
Liz didn’t come on our last trip to the Jade Buddha Temple, and since Jen is focusing on religious practices in globalized, postsocialist China, Jen took Liz to visit the temple. After seeing the Jade Buddha, many local and overseas Chinese tourists stop by this wooden statue pictured above to stick a coin on the statue for good luck. As you can see, Liz was successful in balancing a coin; but Jen was not. We’ll see what the implications of Liz’s good luck and Jen’s bad luck will be!
Lanzhou Noodles, 6 June 2001
Our Favorite Restaurant
This picture may not mean anything to anyone but us. There are a number of small restaurants around us that we frequent, but this is the place where we eat the most! This restaurant, a popular place for students, is open 24/7, and the food tastes great. The food that is served is mostly “fast food” type dishes — noodle soups, popular rice dishes, fried rice/noodles and dumplings. Lanzhou “pulled noodles” are well-known throughout China; you can watch the cooks in the kitchen make the noodles from scratch, pulling the dough back and forth in a performance that rivals the best New York pizza maker. Everyone has their favorite dish, but because they’ve eaten there so many times, everyone has tried almost everything on the menu! The food is also very inexpensive — meals with large portions range from 4-6 yuan (50 to 75 cents US).
The NBA in the PRC, 9 June 2001
As I’m writing this, I’m watching the end of Game 2 of the NBA finals; Sixers are down by 5. The NBA, and basketball in general, is one of the most popular sports to watch and to play. There is a middle school just down the road from our dormitories, and everyday when we walk past the school to the bus stop, we always see kids playing basketball. The same scene plays out on the Fudan campus, where college kids often take a break shooting hoops. There is a Chinese league as well (the CNBA), a league that includes American players as well, but public opinion holds that NBA games are the ones to watch. The addition of Chinese players like Wang Zhizhi (Dallas), and the heavy recruitment of other Chinese players by NBA teams, has only further increased the popularity of the NBA.
Local Shanghai, 10 June 2001
Zhu Jian-gang and Liz Jackson
Jeff Payne and Liz Jackson visited a neighborhood to see the impact of globalization on Shanghai locals. Zhu Jian-gang, a PhD candidate in Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Anthropology Department, took Jeff and Liz to see the local government office that provides social services for this neighborhood and to visit the different housing units. Much of this area is being torn down; as Shanghai prospers, old apartment units are being replaced by new ones. It is easy to see how Shanghai is changing for the wealthy entrepreneurs and the emerging middle class; here they saw how globalization is changing the lives in less obvious ways for the workers and less well-off urban residents.
First Fieldwork, 11 June 2001
Getting Ready to Leave Shanghai
This is actual an old picture, taken during our visit to the Shanghai Stock Exchange — no one took pictures today, since we were all wrapping things up to leave for Hong Kong on the 12th. But for me, this picture shows how everyone has explored Shanghai — through their own sight, observing the cultural differences all around them, and through the voices of people in Shanghai whom they met and talked to, in their beginning Chinese and English! They have learned a lot in their first fieldwork experience in China; but the research and analysis is only starting, and much of their work will continue when they return to Butler. As we talked about their work each day during our stay in Shanghai, I have noted the different ethnographic studies and theoretical frameworks that they need to read in order to understand and explain to others what they experienced. But that’s for later — in the meanwhile, everyone is more concerned about how they pack everything back up to get to Hong Kong!
The View from Home, 12 June 2001
Back in Hong Kong
It was an uneventful day of travel from Shanghai to Hong Kong — as travel should be! It was interesting to see people’s reaction to returning to Hong Kong. Although (for most people) their first visit to Hong Kong was only a few weeks ago, everyone felt as if they were coming home, to somewhere familiar, a place where they know their way around. Pictured above is the view from our apartment here at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. We will be visiting an ancestral temple on the 13th, and we are also preparing for our next trip to rural China.