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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Shanghai Culture  »  Shanghai Folk Music  »  Shanghai Harbor Wharf Chant
Shanghai Harbor Wharf Chant

Shanghai Harbor Wharf Chant(上海港码头号子) is a Han folk song popular in Shanghai. It is sung by numerous workers in many wharfs along Huangpu River. Wharf chant bears the weight of the vitality of dock workers and also witnessed the historical changes of Shanghai harbor. Shanghai harbor wharf chant has been selected for the national intangible cultural heritage. It is an important part of Shanghai culture.

In Tang and Song dynasties, the main port in Shanghai Wusong River estuary was in Qinglong town (now Shanghai Qingpu County, northeast). Due to Wusong River Road was silted, port operations gradually shifted from Qinglong town to Shanghai Pu.

In November 1843, Shanghai was turned into "trade" ports. In 1853, the focus of China's foreign trade is transferred from Guangzhou to Shanghai. After 1870, Shanghai Harbor became a shipping center in China. In 1931, the import and export tons ranked seventh in the world which became the center of the Far East shipping.

With the development of Old Shanghai "shipping center in the Far East," and the establishment of the status of industrial city, those large pieces, bulky and overweight cargo from all over the world to come to the pressure in the shoulders of dock workers. Dock workers in the labor burst out in the chant which is handed down through the centuries. It is the workers engaged in heavy manual labor, bodily cry when oppression. It has witnessed the transformation of China's history, sang the bitterness of working people.

Shanghai dock chant has its peculiarity and uniqueness. Wharf chant because of different transport objects and transport environment, there are many types. Chant sung by the local dialect is also due to the different voice, a unique marina chant with local characteristics and style of the factions. Among them, "Subei chant" and "Hubei chant" the most representative and most popular. Inheritance way is a natural access of transmission "Labor tradition."

"Shanghai Harbor wharf chant" performance team has performed more than 40 sessions. In 2005-2006, Pudong New Area, the team compared the characteristics of mass cultural activities commentary, won the "Outstanding Team" glorious title, and was named excellent program in "the Eighth China Shanghai International Arts Festival".

In May 2007, "Shanghai Harbor Wharf Chant" boarded the second batch of Shanghai list of intangible cultural heritage protection. In 2008, "Shanghai Harbor Wharf Chant" was as selected national intangible cultural heritage.

With the progress of modern industrial civilization, harbor production increased mechanization, heavy manual labor has gradually been replaced by a machine, Shanghai dock workers are septuagenarian old. The song sung by workers when they handling cargo also will gradually follow the disappearance of dock workers. To this end, the project need rescue protection.

Add on: Jiangnan Sizhu
              Qingpu Field Folk Song



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