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Blossoms Shanghai Spurs Dialect Mania

Xinmin Weekly February 26, 2024

By NewsChina Updated May.1

The TV hit Blossoms Shanghai has ignited a passion for dialects across China after it used Shanghai dialect in the show to great effect. From screen to stage, local dialects are increasingly adopted not only for comedic effect but also for authentic portrayals of local lives. Filmmaker Ning Hao highlights their vivid and powerful impact on audiences, particularly locals. Renowned advocate and scholar Hu Shih emphasized that the value of a dialect relies in its reflection of local people’s ingrained thoughts and emotions. Dialects can also serve as mirrors of societal change through subtle shifts in pronunciation, rhythm and linguistic focal points. In the 1990s when speaking Shanghai dialect was taboo in schools, local newspaper Xinmin Evening News published a regular page to preserve the native tongue. Some argue that dialects should be viewed as a form of free expression rather than retrogression or local exclusiveness.