Tasting Shanghai While Sipping Coffee

On the evening of October 9, the fifth session of Jiangnan Culture Lecture (the second season) co-hosted by the Shanghai Federation of Social Science Associations and the Shanghai Museum was held at the Shanghai Museum. Focusing on the theme of “Coffee Culture and Shanghai Images,” Professor Xu Jian, Deputy Dean of the Institute for Chinese Urban Governance of Shanghai Jiaotong University, and the famous author Chen Danyan (also a director of the Shanghai Writers’ Association), delivered speeches respectively titled “Coffee Culture and Shanghai Municipal Spirit” and “The Shanghai Trilogy and Shanghai in the Eyes of Chen Danyan.”

Prof. Xu Jian pointed out that the number of coffee stores in Shanghai ranked first, far ahead of comparable cities worldwide. He made a comparison between Shanghai and five other cities, including the “top four”: New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and San Francisco. There are hundreds of coffee stores in each of these five cities, while in Shanghai, there are 7,000. Coffee has become an important symbol of good life in Shanghai. Drinking coffee is no longer just about tasting coffee, but also feeling the life quality in this city. The coffee culture of Shanghai suggests the city’s characteristics of openness, innovation and inclusiveness. In Shanghai, a city full of cultural pursuits, there is architecture to be admired up and down and distinctive streets to roam along. People come to Shanghai initially for survival, but thanks to the miraculous development of the city, their personal value is realized. It is the residents living in Shanghai who communicate a kind of value to the world, “we come to this city not only for survival but for a better life.”

Ms. Chen Danyan shared her understanding of Shanghai based on her own writing about the city over the years. Shanghai Memorabilia, the first book in her trilogy, is about “finding herself” during the process of field investigation. She has found through her writing that the youth love Shanghai especially for its strength and “magic.” They are fascinated with the high spirit of Shanghai, which is always striving for excellence, always working its way up, always forging ahead. It is a very encouraging and inspiring city. She made extensive investigation of various products made in Shanghai for Chen Danyan’s Shanghai, finding that over a long period of time, Shanghai was introducing a life style to the whole of China through its brands. She also commented that “Shanghai has always had such a spirit that if you are better than me, I would learn from you, so as to be as good as you and even better than you one day.”

During the lectures, the Shanghai Museum also served carefully prepared on-site “cultural experiences in creative coffee and flower tea.” So the audience was able to literally taste the unique charm of Shanghai.

Experts also interacted with the audience on the scene to deepen people’s understanding of the “coffee culture and Shanghai images.”

RELEASE TIME2021-12-28