Tag Archives: He Youzhi

Old Shanghai and Three Places in New England

olive seller

Cantonese Olive Seller

In old Shanghai, not only could one find all kinds of delicacies on the streets but the countless vendors all had their own special local colour. The ones from Shandong sold steamed buns, those from Northern Jiangsu “tiger paws” and “sesame seed rolls”,  the locals plied sugar plums and the Cantonese olives and water chestnut flour cakes or linggao. Of all these hawkers the ones which stood out most were the olive sellers. They wore a big bag across their shoulders, which in itself was nothing special, but on the other hand the Erhu they played was very peculiar. Why? The belly of the instrument was twice as big as normal Erhu. It was made from a petrol can. Because of this, the seller could not get any complex sounds out of his instrument but only a KANG KANG LI KE KANG KANG sound. The monotonous music was certainly not easy on the ears, but it had a distinct flavour of the Yue country. Read more…