Wenzhou Travel Guide, China
Wenzhou city is the southeastern region of the Zhejiang Province in China, known as the People’s Republic of China. The city is located in a mountainous area, near the Oujiang River. Due to this reason, the city had remained isolated from the other parts of the country for a very long time. Hence, the language and culture of the city differ from the other places in the neighborhood. In spite of this aloofness, the natives have a reputation for their enterprising nature. Many of them have left its shores to go to the United States and Europe to start their own retail and wholesale business houses, as well as typical Chinese restaurants in those foreign lands, adopted willingly as their new homeland.
Wenzhou - People, Culture, and Language
Wenzhou urban area sprawls for 1,187.88 square kilometers and the population is estimated around 1,916,000. The residents of Wenzhou had been Buddhists by tradition but of late, Christianity had made inroads into their culture. The cultural history of the city dates back to more than 1600 years. Great scholars and poets from the city had earned names and laurels during the South Song Dynasty, as well as during the recent times. The city had produced more than 200 mathematic professors in the past 100 years. Due to the brainy nature of the local residents, the city had been called as ‘City of Chess’ and ‘City of Poetry in China’. The people of Wenzhou speak the same language as the neighboring areas of Shanghai and Hangzhou, called ‘Wu Chinese’. However, the geographic isolation of the city and the influence of the Southern Min language of the Fujian province had made the language develop its own dialect. This distinctive dialect had earned the dubious distinction of ‘notoriously eccentric’. Not only the people of China but the residents of Zhejiang province and Fujian province also find it difficult to understand the dialect of Wenzhou. They had named it Wenzhouhua. The people have a strong business oriented bent of mind, with an independent, self-reliant nature. As such, they were the first to launch market economy oriented approach, when China relaxed its approach to the capitalistic economy. Today, Wenzhou possesses one of the most developed and active private economies in the entire country.
Wenzhou had been a very prosperous port with a fairly large amount of foreign trade. The port witnessed a slump in business at the end of the Second World War but quick recovery was made when the coastal trade was resumed in 1955. The city and its hinterlands produce tea, jute, food, wine, timber, paper, and Alunite, which is used to prepare alum and produce fertilizer. The major part of these products is exported. Food processing, building materials and paper making industries are the backbone of the local economy. For the last two decades, manufacturing electrical appliances has been growing at a good pace. Exploration of oil off the Wenzhou coast had been going on for the last 15 years, but significant success had not been witnessed. The prosperity of the city and the entrepreneurship of the residents led to the creation of ‘Wenzhou Economic Model’ that inspired the modernization of the entire country.
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