Wisteria Park a colorful excursion for expatriates

Yang Yang
Expat families from the UK, Germany and Sweden have visited the Wisteria Park in Jiading District to admire the flowers.
Yang Yang
Wisteria Park a colorful excursion for expatriates
Ti Gong

A staff worker of the Wisteria Park explains culture and history concerning the park to the expat families.

Directed by Yang Yang. Shot by Yang Yang. Edited by Yang Yang. Subtitles by Yang Yang.

Expat families from the UK, Germany and Sweden visited the Wisteria Park in Jiading District to admire the flowers on Saturday.

They also had a try at wearing traditional Chinese hanfu (Han-style clothes), eating Nanxiang xiaolongbao (little steamed buns), and paper-cutting animal figures and patterns for good luck and longevity.

Wisteria Park a colorful excursion for expatriates
Ti Gong

Every spring when wisteria flowers are in full bloom, Jiading Wisteria Park becomes one of the most popular attractions

Wisteria Park a colorful excursion for expatriates
Ti Gong

Per Edberg, senior director of Complete Vehicle Engineering R&D of Volvo Car Asia Pacific, appreciates the wisteria flowers.

Every spring when wisteria flowers are in full bloom, Jiading Wisteria Park becomes one of the most popular attractions, crowded with visitors from all across the city.

Fujimoto Michio, former director of Wake, Okayama Prefecture of Japan, proposed building the wisteria park in Jiading in 1996 as a gift from his hometown to Shanghai. The wisteria, usually having a lifespan of around 500 years to 1,000 years, reflected Michio's wish that the friendship between China and Japan could last as long as possible.

"The scent is unbelievable, and also the color, unbelievable," said Gary Hooper, vice president of automotive oil product management and engineering, FUCHS Lubricants China. "We have white, pink, dark pink, mauve, purple. And the chance to wearing this traditional costume is very interesting."

Hooper, from England, has permanently settled down in Shanghai with his Chinese wife and child. Jogging around the Yuanxiang Lake in Jiading and touring along its Nanxiang old street with his family were described by him as "a panacea to cure fatigue from working."

Shen Liang, an official with Shanghai Information Office, said: "When we are abroad for studying or working, we also hope our foreign friends may introduce to us the local elements.

"So we hope this tour of Wisteria Park, as well as other Shanghai Foreigners' Stories Telling Club activities, will channel our foreign friends in Shanghai to better adapt themselves to life here and to develop their careers."

Kai Pflug, a doctor of chemistry from Germany and a bird photography lover, said: "I feel Jiading is a good place for foreigners. We're really being taken special care of, like today. I hope we can overall give something back to Jiading".

Pflug has been interested in tracing and photographing birds in Nanhui in Shanghai for years and published a photo album recording more than 370 bird species through his more than 500 trips to Nanhui.

Kai-Marcel Dodel from Germany, general manager of ZF Transmissions Shanghai Co, said: "I've been living for eight years now in Shanghai and my two sons they were born here, that means I am very close to the city."

The family had moved to Malu Town of Jiading District in 2016, and they like touring the night fair, having bubble tea and barbecues.

Per Edberg from Sweden, senior director of Complete Vehicle Engineering R&D of Volvo Car Asia Pacific, said: "Shanghai is a Chinese city that attracts people from all across the globe, and I think that is why it is fascinating to me as a foreigner, there is also the traditional Chinese culture too."

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