East China Normal University is absolutely gorgeous! There are two small creeks, inundated with lotus flowers in full blossom, that across campus with trees and benches lining both banks. Students often climb the low bush trees to pick waxberries that are just beginning to ripen.
There’s something about the university that is identifiably Chinese, that is, aside from the 20 feet statue of Chairman Mao keeping watch at the center of campus. It could be the stone bridges and stone tables, or the badminton players and the elderly practicing Taichi. The back gate comes alive at night. Both sides of the street is filled up with food vendors selling fried noodles, Chinese style BBQ and crawfish along with xiaotans (excuse the Chinglish) of sunglasses, hats and clothes. On weekends, the park that is close by also fills up with children flying kites, Chinese opera singers accompanied by erhu players and students attending all sorts of dance classes. Amidst the business and international atmosphere that stereotypes Shanghai, there is in fact, still many aspects of traditional culture that can be found.