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The local people, called Cantonese, speak the Cantonese language Yueyu , which is distinctly different from the Mandarin spoken by most Chinese. However, with growing numbers of immigrants from northern and eastern China coming to live and work in the city, both Cantonese and Mandarin are now popularly used. The earliest inhabitants, of Tai or Shan origin, were assimilated by the Chinese Han long ago. There are, however, small groups of Manchu and Chinese Muslims Hui in the city. Since the s many of them returned and resettled in and around Guangzhou. Another phenomenon that emerged since the s is the presence of a large transient population of workers from other provinces or even overseas.
These workers temporarily reside in the Guangzhou area to work in factories or at other jobs before returning to their home regions. The initial focus was on such light manufactures as electronics, textiles, newsprint, processed foods, and firecrackers. Smaller plants have also been developed to manufacture consumer goods. However, increasing investment has been made in heavy industries, including those producing machinery, chemicals notably petrochemicals , iron and steel, and cement, as well as shipbuilding; in addition, automobile manufacturing has become important.
The value of heavy manufactures now exceeds that of light industries. Since the late s much of the investment in the Guangzhou region has been by foreigners based in Hong Kong , Macao , and Taiwan. The result of all this growth is that the city has become one of the major industrial complexes of southern China. Guangzhou is celebrated for its many handicraft products, including ivory carvings, jade objects, embroideries, fans, porcelain, and paper umbrellas. Considerable effort has been focused on improving tourist facilities, and tourism has become an important component of the local economy.
Guangzhou traditionally was the centre of trade for Guangdong, Guangxi , and adjacent provinces of southern China. Products such as sugar, fruits, silk, timber, tea, and herbs were exported, whereas manufactured goods and industrial equipment were transshipped via Guangzhou into the interior. However, since the s, a growing quantity of manufactured goods and equipment including mechanical, electrical, and electronic products has been exported via the city to the world.
The semiannual China Import and Export Fair, which began in , has become an institution of world trade. Large shopping centres and wholesale markets established in the central districts of the city include department stores and specialty shops. Banks, including state and provincial and local and foreign commercial establishments, now have branches throughout the city area. Although the city does not have a stock exchange such as those in nearby Shenzhen and Hong Kong , it does have several brokerage firms.
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Buses and bicycles were once the principal means of transportation within the city. However, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of automobiles and motorcycles, and fewer bicycles are seen.
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As a result, the city has some of the worst traffic congestion in all of China. The traffic situation has been improved somewhat by widening streets, building more bridges across the Pearl River, and placing restrictions on motorcycle traffic at certain times of the day and in specific street zones downtown. More importantly, the city has been constructing an extensive subway network, several lines of which have been operating within the city and another to the city of Foshan southwest of Guangzhou.
The system has come to play a major role in daily public transportation. The Pearl River Delta is blessed with innumerable canals and creeks; the smaller canals are used by sampans flat-bottomed boats propelled by oars and the larger canals by steamers or motor launches. Guangzhou is a terminus of inland navigation and is also the focal point of coastal and ocean navigation for southern China. The Guangzhou Port Group, one of the largest port complexes in China, has its major facilities at Huangpu, which is 12 miles 19 km downstream and now a district of the city; at Xinsha, farther downstream along the Pearl estuary; and at Nansha, which is at the southern end of the municipality near Hong Kong and now also is a district of the city.
All these and other ports under the group have been expanded to accommodate vessels with displacements of 10, or more tons. Guangzhou is served by railroads linking it north to Beijing , south to Kowloon Hong Kong , east to the coastal city of Shantou and into Fujian province, and west to the port city of Zhanjiang and into Guangxi province. Major arterial roads and express highways link Guangzhou with other large cities in the province and with Macau and Hong Kong. A standing committee selected from its members recommends policy decisions and oversees the operation of municipal government.
The municipality is now divided into 10 districts qu and 2 county-level cities xianjishi , each of which has a district or city mayoralty. Under a district there are police substations and street mayoralties.
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Neighbourhood associations have various functions, including mediating disputes, conducting literacy campaigns, supervising sanitation and welfare, and promoting family planning. Health conditions improved dramatically during the 20th century, especially after Epidemics have been eliminated through the control of disease-carrying pests. Guangzhou has many high-quality hospitals with modern medical equipment. In addition, the city is a national hub of traditional Chinese medicine , centred around Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine established and its network of affiliated hospitals and clinics.
In addition to a large number of kindergartens, primary schools, and middle schools, it has dozens of institutions of higher learning. An ambitious project named Guangzhou University City was launched at the beginning of the 21st century, with the goal of creating a concentrated, multiple-campus college town on an island in the Pearl River south of the central city in Panyu district.
Guangzhou is a vibrant city. Large tracts of parkland, many of them created since , help give the city its characteristically lush appearance and provide the citizenry with a wide variety of recreational facilities. The colourful flower show held during the annual Spring Festival is a major highlight. Guangzhou is noted for its puppet plays that feature large puppets with finely carved wooden heads. The library of Sun Yat-sen University has one of the largest holdings in China, including an extensive collection of vernacular-language works. Notable historic sites include the tomb of Zhao Mei, second ruler of Nanyue, a state that was incorporated into the Xi Western Han dynasty bce —25 ce ; the restored campus of Huangpu Whampoa Military Academy; and the residence of Sun Yat-sen.
The octagonal Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is a 3,seat auditorium and has a bronze statue of Sun in front of the main entrance. The vitality of the Cantonese people is exemplified by their passion for food. Many feature fresh ingredients, including locally caught seafood, that are quickly cooked, often by stir-frying.
Congees porridges made from rice or millet and soups are often part of the meal. Sports facilities, including stadiums, natatoriums, tennis courts, and a rowing centre, have added to the leisure diversions available to city residents. In addition, several new sports venues—including three gymnasiums, an aquatic centre, and an 18,seat indoor arena—were built when Guangzhou hosted the Asian Games.
The tall, slender Canton Tower , constructed for both television broadcasting and recreational use, opened in on the south bank of the Pearl River in Haizhu district. Designed with a spiraling lattice exterior frame, the tower and its antenna have a total height of 1, feet metres. Among its visitor facilities are restaurants and bars, a staircase that winds around the outside of its cylindrical core for more than 30 floors, and an open-air observation deck at the top of its 1,foot- metre- tall main structure.
The earliest known inhabitants of the Guangzhou area were the Baiyue, a Tai, or Shan, people.
During the Xi Western Zhou dynasty — bce , the local Baiyue people pledged allegiance to the feudal state of Chu to the northeast, giving rise to the name of Chuting for the area. Later, a walled town known as Nanwu Cheng, in the northern section of the present-day city, was built during the Spring and Autumn Chunqiu period — bce. Under the Qin dynasty — bce , what was by then a small city known as Panyu for the twin hills of Pan and Yu located in the area was made the capital of Nanhai prefecture.
It reflects the tradition of making a good beginning in a new year, and therefore has produced a host of flower languages. The three kinds of necessary flower for the Spring Festival Flower market are: Peach blossom symbolizes great success and for young people, it means good romance. Daffodil is a symbol of wealth and good luck. The flower arrangement activity during the Spring Festival flower market is a combination of the oriental charm and the occidental passion.
The flower basket is usually decorated with natural cane ornaments, which add a touch of nature to it. I enjoyed the art scene, the music scene, starting making friends,and learned all I could learn about the overwhelming giant mega-city of Guangzhou. Yet, for that entire year I had no girlfriend.
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I wanted a girlfriend, I like having a girlfriend. I tried, I rejected, I was rejected. Never seemed to work out. My how I dated. Not too much asshole I hope. I got extremely into Internet dating. No luck on Okcupid.
I met an American. Quite a few Koreans. Panyu is the K-town of GZ you should know. I made mistakes, as I usually do, and I traveled to Thailand with a girl. In the end, it was an interesting year. And ultimately I decided to come back to Shenzhen because I like it better. It suits me somehow.
I learned a lot in Guangzhou, a lot about myself and a lot about the surrounding area. I guess it was too big for me, everything was so spread out. I know my way around. If you ever come to this part of the world, and you ask around, you might find a certain pattern. Guangzhou people prefer Guangzhou and hate Shenzhen. I do have some small-to-medium sized regrets. I look forward to writing all about those. In the coming posts I will be focusing on my Guangzhou year. A lot of stories that year. But I suppose the plus side to dating around is that you get to meet many kinds of people and learn how to read most of them quickly.
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I had a lot of books growing up up until my teen years but they were something I always left behind. Never took them along with me when I move cities and countries as I knew they were always replaceable. Like Liked by 1 person. A giant step for you at the time and a courageous one.