Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shanghai History Museum

For over fourteen months, I have called China home. This week my mother, in her well-meaning way, resorted to the ad hominem to convince me that I should return home. She told me that I had turned my back on my country and my family.  Actually, I miss them a lot and see my work here as valuable. Every time that I teach somebody English in a world where Mandarin is the most prevalent native tongue, I help perpetuate the primacy of our language. Furthermore, I am teaching Western culture at The Culture Club and I represent the United States proudly.

That said, the intense pride of this people concerning their 5,000 years of history used to annoy me. Yesterday, though, I turned a corner. Instead of seeing this patriotism as the outgrowth of propaganda, I now realize that for millions of Chinese this feeling is well-founded because, in some important ways, theirs is a culture that is sophisticated and refined. Perhaps, it was Qibao Chow's Miniature Sculpture Museum that solidified this for me. This post is about my visit to the Shanghai History Museum. A subsequent post will discuss the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Museum and Qibao Ancient Town.

Source: http://blog.chinatravel.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/DSC0124-622x416.jpg

Shanghai History Museum

The Oriental Pearl Tower
Shanghai History Museum is in the basement of the Oriental Pearl. You will remember from last year's post over the May Day holiday that the Pearl is a landmark of the skyline here, for better or worse, that lies at a bend in the Huangpu River.

After landing at Pudong and a lengthy subway ride, my girlfriend and I went there first--do not pass Go, do not collect 1200RMB. We did not pay the preposterous prices to go up, but one flight down is a sort of Madame Tussaud meets Sturbridge Village. You could easily spend more time than we did, but even so it took us a couple hours to wind our way about on the two floors of the museum.

I would like to bring you on the tour with me.