Changsha is a city of approximately 6 million people in south-east China and is the capitol of the Hunan Province. Hunan is best known for two things: the birthplace of Mao Zedong and food that is almost as spicy as the food in Sichuan. There doesn’t seem to be much culturally remarkable in Changsha. There are huge statues of Communist political leaders, especially Mao, but I imagine you’ll find the same in any decent sized Chinese city. A few years ago there was an enormously popular t.v. program in China called SuperGirl that was produced in Changsha. I’ve heard it described as a Chinese American Idol but only young women can enter. Beyond that, I don’t know what would distinguish Changsha from the other large Chinese cities that are not Shanghai or Beijing. It’s certainly an exciting city. It’s experienced tremendous population growth in the past decade and a half, essentially all people moving from the countryside to the city. Again, this is something happening everywhere in China. It’s a city that’s been industrialized for awhile now. Infact, I can’t remember seeing any factories or warehouses, but I know things are manufactured in Changsha, so they must exist. Nearly all the businesses I see are service oriented. Perhaps with the my opportunities to travel and see more of China I’ll have better insights into Changsha’s uniqueness, but right now its difficult to describe Changsha as anything more than a large, crowded city where everything is written in Chinese characters instead of one of the other Romance languages.
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