Societal Situation in Wuhan, China
Wuhan is considered to be the more metropolitan cities in China, being a commercial centre of finance, industry, trade and science. It lies on the crossroads of Central China, and is therefore also a transportation hub. Wuhan's official language is Chinese, the city tree being Dawn Redwood and the city flower being the Plum Blossom. The society of Wuhan differs from that of Singapore's in several ways, the most prominent being the transportation system, food, the standard of living, housing conditions and the environment.
Standard of Living
The standard of living in Wuhan is not very high. Commodities like food and essentials are priced on the cheaper side, with a typical meal costing up to 15 Yuan maximum, or 3 Singapore dollars. This is because Wuhan enjoys a solid economic foundation, partially attributed to the fact that Wuhan is host to the largest number (50) of French companies in China, one third of French investment in the country. While the standard of living is not high, there is still a large gap between the lower class and the middle and upper classes. The majority of Wuhan citizens belong in the middle class, with average incomes, while the upper class consists mainly of citizens who live in the urban areas of the city. The lower class, however, are extremely poor with salaries below the amount needed to meet basic needs. While there are relatively little citizens in the lower class, those who are have to depend on their neighbours and relatives for financial support. As citizens from the lower class tend to stay in the rural areas of Wuhan, they are confined to more traditional jobs like farming and fishing, and thus they do not have a chance to obtain better jobs.
Wuhan's transportation system is considered to be rather unique. Like Singapore, they have a railway system, a recently installed modern subway system (Wuhan is one of only six cities in China to have a subway system), and a large network of roads and expressways. With the presence of rivers, the Chang Jiang Bridges serve as the faster alternative to crossing rivers by boat. Virtually anywhere in Wuhan is accessible by car. However, Wuhan citizens prefer a somewhat simpler and humbler life, and the majority of families prefer using bicycles to cars when possible. Also, since Wuhan is partially developed, out in the rural areas, cars are the only choice to travel great distances, and so they are an integral part of a typical Wuhan family living at the outskirts of the city.
Food & Beverage
Wuhan food shares similarities with Singaporean Chinese food, due to the fact that both share a common origin, but like the many provinces of China, Wuhan is home to several unique foods which have never been heard of in Singapore. Possibly the most famous is hot dry noodles, or ' 热干面 ', usually eaten for breakfast. Others such as duck's neck and soup buns are more exotic and are not eaten in Singapore. In general, the food there is more on the spicy side, and vegetables are more prominent during mealtimes. Also, because there is no source of salt water, the 'seafood' eaten by the locals tends to be freshwater crabs and fish, whereas in Singapore we are used to eating saltwater fish and crabs.
Housing in Wuhan is similar to Singapore in many aspects. Wuhan has multi-storey apartments, bungalows, and even condominiums. There are also the more traditional shophouses and huts in the outskirts of the city. The middle class tend to live in multi-story apartments similar to our HDB flats, as well as shophouses, and the wealthy can own extensive areas of land and live in bungalows, similar to Singaporean private housing. The lower class tends to live in houses of smaller size and/or huts.
Wuhan, being larger than Singapore, means that it has a lot to boast about in terms of the environment. Firstly, there are many natural landmarks and reserves around Wuhan, with the more famous one being the East Lake. Unlike Singapore, which is essentially an urban jungle, Wuhan has no lack of greenery and the scenery there is fabulous. In the cities however, the roads are slightly less well kept as compared to Singapore. This may be due to the size of the city, making cleaning hard to manage.
Way of Life
Life in Wuhan is routine, with a typical family’s life centred on the child. In China, a one-child policy is adopted, and so families usually occur in threes, with the child being the centre of attention. Parents in Wuhan are very supportive of their child and wish to see them do well in all aspects, so that when they mature, they can lead a better life than themselves. Because of this, parents commit themselves to their jobs in order to earn enough money for their child to pursue further studies. The typical schedule for a parent would be to get about his or her work. Only the rich can afford to have auxiliary activities, including concerts, performances etc. Otherwise, life is routine for most families. In Singapore, a family can have many activities even within an academic/work day.