tv Asia Insight PBS December 23, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm PST
>> people are flooding in from other provinces, hoping for success and wealth in shanghai. these newcomers number 11 million, nearly half of shanghai's total population of 25 million. ♪ ♪ people who travel from other areas to major cities in china are known as wai tais di re. literally outsider. their significant increase means there aren't enough schools or housing and with more cars traffic jams have worsened. >> translator: there's a limit to how much a city can take.
you can't meet the needs of everyone. long-time shanghai locals have convicted feelings -- conflicted feelings about the noticeable rise in wai spai di ren. [ speaking foreign language ] >> shanghai natives and shanghai newcomers. as the city continues to expand how can they learn to live and work together in harmony? ♪ ♪
>> this is one of shanghai's major food markets. with over 400 stalls it provides fresh produce from across the country. it opens every day from 4:30 a.m. [ speaking foreign language ] >> over a thousand wai di ren are thought to be working at the market. some are temporary workers, but many have moved here with their families, prepared to stay. in recent years, wai di ren are
being employed in white collar jobs. this woman is 30 and works at a dispatcher firm. she moved from the province three years ago. she's responsible for managing veents.events. 90% of her company's staff are wai di ren. >> many of our staff are from other provinces. i'm from one of them. >> she's from a farming village and studied economics and i.t. in college. her specialized knowledge and dedication have earned her commendations. she earns about $1,200 per
month. that's about 1.5 times the average monthly wage in shanghai. >> translator: i really enjoy my work. it's just really fun for me. i hope to keep developing myself as the company grows. that's my goal now. >> the moment she finishes work she rushes out of the office. she has to collect her five-year-old daughter from nursery school. dinner is always bought from a convenience store on the way home. they live in a two-bedroom rented apartment.
[ speaking foreign language ] ♪ ♪ her husband is a year older and comes from another province. they met at work soon after finishing college. ♪ ♪ they married in 2010 and moved to shanghai with their daughter in search of greater success. her husband is a design engineer for a major car manufacturer. he's been relocated to another province for work. ♪ ♪ >> translator: i want to buy a house in shanghai and live a stable life here together with my husband and daughter. i'm hoping we can really enjoy
our retirement. i want to live here forever. >> the population of shanghai has grown by 8 million over the last 15 years. 90% of this number is made up of wai di ren. this increase in newcomers has changed the everyday lives of shanghai natives who have been here for generations. the local dialect shanghainese isn't always understood. [ speaking foreign language ] >> this waiter is from another province.
[ speaking foreign language ] >> this is xu weiguo. he's out with his wife and son. they are a dyed in the wool shanghainese family. they good out to dinner and they often face this problem. >> translator: most restaurants are like this now. >> the family live in the southwest of the city about 30 minutes drive from central shanghai. it's long been a shanghainese neighborhood but there's been a recent rise in new arrivals. ♪ ♪
[ speaking foreign language ] >> he and his wife both speak shanghainese in the home. they want their son to be aware of their identity as a shanghai native. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: if we don't use shanghainese, he will forget how to speak it. it's the culture of his birthplace. it's not that fewer people speak it now so much as that more people speak mandarin these days. >> translator: we shanghainese
men are proud that we take on domestic responsibilities. men can cook. we can look after our families. we're the best in china at that. i want to teach that to my son. >> although the natives and wai di ren in shanghai are all chinese, their languages and lifestyles are often different. disputes between them are not uncommon. in october 2015 footage taken by a subway passenger was uploaded to the internet. [ speaking foreign language ] >> a wai di ren, the man wearing the white t-shirt spat in the
carriage causing a fight with shanghai natives. [ speaking foreign language ] >> when the video was posted people from both sides rushed to comment on it. ♪ >> nearly half the shanghai population are wai di ren. their labor is vital to shanghai's growth. the city government has been trying new schemes to bring together newcomers and natives.
>> translator: china is urbanizing very rapidly and we're seeing lots of movement between areas, however, we have a family registration system. people were deliberately registered as either urban residents or rural residents. that system is causing problems now. shanghai was the first city in the country to introduce a residential card system. you don't need shanghai documents. just set up a residency card. ♪ ♪ >> in 1958 the central government, hoping to avoid population build up in cities categories residents from urban to rural residence. it was illegal to change from one to the other. the reform in 1978 led to sudden
urban growth. many people went to the cities to increase their income. they had no medical insurance and their children couldn't get in schools. the government decided to provide education regardless and said it would consider an overhaul of the family registration system. in 2002 shanghai became the first city in china to undertake major reform. they set up the residency card system. now, wai di ren who have lived in shanghai for at least six months are given resident cards. if they pay social insurance, they have access to health care and unemployment insurance. ♪ ♪ currently shanghai has issued cards to 11 million wai di ren. it continues to issue 600,000 new resident cards per year. in five years, the total number
of registered wai di ren could reach 15 million. >> translator: the eventual goal is for everyone who lives in shanghai to have equal access to public services but our changing strategies cannot keep up with the speed of immigration. right now, we have to prioritize people who have lived in shanghai the longest. more recent arrivals will have to wait their turn. we can't deal with everyone at once. as the number of arrivals to shanghai increases, so does the number of cars registered outside the city. ♪ ♪
to ease traffic jams on central roads, city authorities have introduced new rules for highways. ♪ ♪ during the morning and evening rush hours, only shanghai registration plates may use them. ♪ ♪ she's an office worker from a province and naturally she has a registration card. she sees major problems with the system. >> translator: the residency card will cause issues for my daughter getting into senior high school in shanghai. shanghainese students are given priority. ♪ ♪ >> for the nine years of compulsory education, children have the right to be educated anywhere regardless of their family register but they must typically attend senior high
school in the area where they are registered. in order for her daughter to go to senior high school she will have to return to her mother's place of birth. ♪ ♪ but she would like her daughter to taken senior high in shanghai. ♪ ♪ >> the village where i grew up had little to offer in terms of things to see, to listen to to experience but there's so many in the city. it broadens your perspective. and rural education is totally different from an education in shanghai. i want my daughter to the best possible schooling that she can. ♪ ♪ >> the residency card system in shanghai has ways to overcome
her dilemma. a point system was added two years ago. wai di ren are given points according to their education, age, number of years paying social insurance, and specialist qualifications. if they reach 120 points and get approval from the city government, their children can apply to shanghai high schools regardless of their family register. ♪ ♪ with at least seven years residency, payment of taxes and proof of making a contribution to shanghai such as through corporate activity they can even apply for family registration in shanghai. ♪ ♪ but the average number of points earned by a bay wai di ren who graduated from a four-year university is 90 points. hardly anyone scores 120. she is 86.
her daughter goes to nursery school with the other woman's daughter. the two are over for a visit. her parents also want to score 120 points for their daughter's education. [ speaking foreign language ] both mothers have begun studying for specialist finance and management qualifications. ♪ ♪ the tests for them are very difficult but can earn them 100 points. [ speaking foreign language ] >> all we can do is work our hardest within the current
system. >> translator: i want to do everything that i can. i'm determined to do my best and to pass the exam. if we fail let's try again next year. yeah. >> the exams are only held once a year. if they pass they could be registered as having 120 points for the following april. their children's high school education in shanghai will be assured. ♪ ♪ almost 600,000 wai di ren come to shanghai each year filled with hopes and dreams for the future. this is a new area of shanghai where new homes are constantly being built. ♪ ♪ a series of regional restaurants
line one corner. many wai di ren have set up shop in the belief that the area will continue to develop. ♪ ♪ [ speaking foreign language ] >> 38-year-old man is from anhui province. he just opened a restaurant with his wife this year. their specialty is rural anhui dishes. both their staff are also from anhui and the majority of their customers are wai di ren. he graduated from his hometown high school and moved to shanghai at age 18 where he married an anhui native. working at a factory and other jobs they spent years saving up
the $25,000 they used to open the restaurant. >> neighbors who left for shanghai seemed so cool when they came home looking so successful so i also dreamed of going to shanghai, and so that's what i did. i wanted to work as hard as i could to save up money here. i thought that this would make my later life my retirement easier. i was determined to set my own goals and work toward them myself. i wanted to build the whole thing up from scratch. after 20 years in shanghai i've done that. this is a small restaurant but it's still my own business.
>> he and his wife phone home every day. [ speaking foreign language ] >> they are speaking with their son, a 7th grade. he went to live with his parents three years ago. neither he and his wife have gone to college. they given up on trying to earn 120 points. their son must attend high school in anhui province. they chose to live apart for now.
♪ ♪ [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: it was lonely at first but this is the reality of living in china. it can't be helped. ♪ ♪ > translator: it was hard right after he left but it's for the sake of our family. ♪ ♪ >> translator: it's tough now, but i want our son to have opportunities. ♪ ♪ >> six months after opening, the restaura sll isn't on stable footing, butoth ohem are determined to make meyn shanghai so their son can go to college. ♪ ♪
>> this family native shanghainese. [ speaking foreign language ] >> his parents-in-law are paying a visit. his father-in-law is 71. he worked in infrastructure management handling water and gas supply and had an intimate grasp of city life. he feels sad about how the city has changed. >> translator: the whole neighborhood used to know each other. there would be 20 families living in a single building and you never locked the door at night. everyone got along well
together. kids and adults all visited each other to talk and play. well that's very rare today. our generation doesn't talk much to wai di ren. there's so many of them that it's a major burden on shanghai. mind you, living standards have improved hugely but it's different. >> translator: what's great about wai di ren is they have improved shanghai living. we can't ignore the contributions they have made. they put up many buildings, including our house. we need to find a way to co-exist. it might be hard at first. we all want to protect our neighborhood. in the end, i think time will change people's minds.
>> translator: why wouldn't wai di ren come to shanghai? it's a great place. if it weren't, nobody would come here. we need to live together. some of us will want to fit into shanghai culture. we need to accommodate their culture in ways as well. >> translator: this is the restaurant of wai di ren resident who lives apart from his son. shanghainese customers have come here. they scbrus moved -- they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] they
just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ]they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ]they just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] they just moved into the apartment nthey just moved into the just moved into the apartment next door. [ speaking foreign language ] just moved into the apartment next door.just moved into the just moved just mov >> translator: we plak region -- we make regional food that shanghai people now eat. we wai di ren are getting used to shanghai food too. it's a form of communication that i hope continues. as long as we treat them well, shanghainese treat us well. ♪ ♪ >> the chinese government has set out a strategy to unify urban and family registers by 2020. ♪ ♪ the search for ways to unite the cultures and customs of people born in very different regions will continue. ♪ ♪
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