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Harbin Highlights


 Harbin (Chinese: 哈尔滨 Hā'ěrbīn) is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang province in the northeastern region of the People's Republic of China.Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Harbin has direct jurisdiction over nine metropolitan districts, two county-level cities and seven counties. Harbin is the eighth most populous Chinese city and the most populous city in Northeast China. According to the 2010 census, the built-up area made of seven out of nine urban districts (all but Shuangcheng and Acheng not urbanized yet) had 5,282,093 inhabitants, while the total population of the sub-provincial citywas up to 10,635,971. Harbin serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural, and communications hub in Northeast China, as well as an important industrial base of the nation.

Harbin, which was originally a Manchu word meaning "a place for drying fishing nets", grew from a small rural settlement on the Songhua River to become one of the largest cities in Northeast China. Founded in 1898 with the coming of the Chinese Eastern Railway, the city first prospered as a region inhabited by an overwhelming majority of the immigrants from the Russian Empire.

Having the most bitterly cold winters among major Chinese cities, Harbin is heralded as the Ice City for its well-known winter tourism and recreations. Harbin is notable for its beautiful ice sculpture festival in the winter.Besides being well known for its historical Russian legacy, the city serves as an important gateway in Sino-Russian trade today, containing a sizable population of Russian diaspora. In the 1920s, the city was considered China's fashion capital since new designs from Paris and Moscow reached here first before arriving in Shanghai.The city has been voted "China Top Tourist City" by China National Tourism Administration in 2004. On 22 June 2010, Harbin was appointed a "City of Music" by the UN.

 Harbin Russians and History of the Jews in ChinaA small village in 1898 grew into the modern city of Harbin.Polish engineer Adam Szydłowski drew plans for the city following the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway, which the Russian Empire had financed. The Russians selected Harbin as the base of their administration over this railway and the Chinese Eastern Railway Zone. The Chinese Eastern Railway extended the Trans-Siberian Railway: substantially reducing the distance from Chita to Vladivostok and also linking the new port city of Dalny (Dalian) and the Russian Naval Base Port Arthur (Lüshun).During the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05), Russia used Harbin as its base for military operations in Manchuria. Following Russia's defeat, its influence declined. Several thousand nationals from 33 countries, including the United States, Germany, and France, moved to Harbin. Sixteen countries established consulates to serve their nationals, who established several hundred industrial, commercial and banking companies. Churches were rebuilt for Russian Orthodox, Lutheran/German Protestant, and Polish Catholic Christians. Chinese capitalists also established businesses, especially in brewing, food and textiles. Harbin became the economic hub of northeastern China and an international metropolis.

 

Headquarter of the Imperial Japanese Army's covert biological and chemical warfare research and development Unit 731

Japan invaded Manchuria outright after the Mukden Incident in September 1931. After the Japanese captured Qiqihar in the Jiangqiao Campaign, the Japanese 4th Mixed Brigade moved toward Harbin, closing in from the west and south. Bombing and strafing by Japanese aircraft forced the Chinese army to retreat from Harbin. Within a few hours the Japanese occupation of Harbin was complete.[35]
Under the Manchukuo régime and Japanese occupation, Harbin Russians had a difficult time. In 1935, the Soviet Union sold the Chinese Eastern Railway (KVZhD) to the Japanese, and many Russian emigres left Harbin (48133 of them were arrested during the Soviet Great Purge between 1936 and 1938 as "Japanese spies"[49]).[30] Most departing Russians returned to the Soviet Union, but a substantial number moved south to Shanghai or emigrated to the United States and Australia. By the end of the 1930s, the Russian population of Harbin had dropped to around 30,000.[50]
Many of Harbin's Jews (13,000 in 1929) fled after the Japanese occupation as the Japanese associated closely with militant anti-Soviet Russian Fascists, whose ideology of anti-Bolshevism and nationalism was laced with virulent anti-Semitism.[51] Most left for Shanghai, Tianjin, and the British Mandate of Palestine.[52] In the late 1930s, some German Jews fleeing the Nazis moved to Harbin. Japanese officials later facilitated Jewish emigration to several cities in western Japan, notably Kobe, which came to have Japan's largest synagogue.
Monument to Soviet soldiers in Harbin's Nangang District, built by Soviet Red Army in 1945
The Soviet Army took the city on 20 August 1945[53] and Harbin never came under the control of the Kuomintang, whose troops stopped 60 km (37 mi) short of the city.[54] The city's administration was transferred by the departing Soviet Army to the Chinese People's Liberation Army in April 1946. On 28 April 1946, the Communist Government of Harbin was established, making the 700,000-citizen-city the first large city under Chinese Communist force rule.[23] During the short occupation of Harbin by the Soviet Army (August 1945 to April 1946), thousands of Russian emigres who have been identified as members of the Russian Fascist Party and fled communism after the Russian October Revolution,[31] were forcibly deported to the Soviet Union. After 1952 the Soviet Union launched a second wave of immigration back to Russia.[31] By 1964, the Russian population in Harbin had been reduced to 450.[50] The rest of the European community (Russians, Germans, Poles, Greeks, etc.) emigrated during the years 1950–54 to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel and the USA, or were repatriated to their home countries.

The chernozem soil in Harbin, called "black earth" is one of the most nutrient rich in all of China, making it valuable for cultivating food and textile-related crops. As a result, Harbin is China's base for the production of commodity grain and an ideal location for setting up agricultural businesses.

Harbin also has industries such as light industry, textile, medicine, food, aircraft, automobile, metallurgy, electronics, building materials, and chemicals which help to form a fairly comprehensive industrial system.

Harbin is famous for its standard Mandarin pronunciation (As a common saying goes, 'If you want to study Chinese language, come to China. If you want to study Mandarin, come to Beijing. If you want to study standard Mandarin, come to Harbin.'). The Harbin local culture is based on Han culture, combined with Manchu culture and Russian culture.[9] This combination of cultures influences the local architecture style, food, music, and customs. The city of Harbin was appointed a UNESCO City of Music on 22 June 2010 as part of the Creative Cities Network.[15]

Culture

Harbin is renowned for its culinary tradition. The cuisine of Harbin consists of European dishes and Northern Chinese dishes mainly typified by heavy sauce and deep-frying.

One of the most famous dishes in Northeastern Chinese cuisine is Guo Bao Rou, a form of sweet and sour pork. It is a classic dish from Harbin which originated in the early 20th century in Daotai Fu (pinyin: Dàotái Fǔ).[100] It consists of a bite-sized pieces of pork in a potato starch batter, deep-fried until crispy.

winter culture

Located in northern Northeast China, Harbin is the northernmost among major cities in China. Under the direct influence of the Siberian Anticyclone, the average daily temperature is −19.7 °C (−3.5 °F) in winter. Annual low temperatures below −35.0 °C (−31.0 °F) are not uncommon. Nicknamed "Ice City" due to its freezingly cold winter, Harbin is decorated by various styles of Ice and snow Sculptures from December to March every year.[12]

the music city

Founded in 1908, the Harbin Symphony Orchestra was China's oldest symphony orchestra. Harbin No.1 Music School was also the first music school in China, which was founded in 1928. Nearly 100 famous musicians have studied at the school since its founding, said Liu Yantao, deputy chief of Harbin Cultural, Press and Publication Bureau. Every year, there are thousands of youngsters start their music dreams in this city, and the "Harbin Summer Music Concert" serial activities that always be held in the every year's summer present the music passion of the locals. UNESCO recognizes China's Harbin as "The Music City" as part of the Creative Cities Network in 2010.[15]

Harbin summer music concert

Harbin Summer Music Concert ('Concert' for short) is a national concert festival, which is held on 6 August every two years for a period of 10~11 days. During the concert, multiple evenings, concert, race and activities are held. The artists come from all over the world.

archtecture

Harbin is notable for its combination of Chinese and European architecture styles. Many Russian and other European style buildings are protected by the government. The architecture in Harbin gives it the nicknames of "Oriental Moscow" and "Oriental Paris" in China

 
 
 
 

 

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