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The people of Shanghai are relatively well educated, with high literacy rates and acceptance of Western culture. Foreign businesspeople find Shanghai to have a positive business environment, with less government restrictions than in some other areas of China. In fact, more than 10,000 expatriates now reside in the city. The family culture of China is changing, with fewer extended families living together and more core families (parents and a child) residing as a household, as opposed to in the past, when many households consisted of four generations. Because of the limits on family size (one child per couple) the population of China is growing at less than 1%. Most urban families, like those in Shanghai, reside in multi-family dwellings. China is officially an atheistic nation, but a minority of the Chinese practice Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and other religions.

Shanghai is well known both at home and abroad not only for its prosperous metropolitan feature and rich humanistic resources but also for a number of tourist attractions with modern flavour that have been developed in recent years. Varied and colourful tourist festivities, like the Shanghai Tourism Festival, the New Year Eve Longhua Temple Bell Striking, the Longhua Temple Fair, the Nanhui County Peach Blossom Festival, the International Tea Culture Festival, the Sweet Osmanthus Festival and the Orange Festival are attracting an even increasing number of domestic and foreign tourists.

Shanghai is an ideal "shopping paradise"; Nanjing Road, known as "China's No.1 Street", the reconstructed Huaihai Road, Jinling Road, East, North Sichuan Road, the Yuyuan Garden shopping and tourist area, the Ever Bright City Commercial Centre, Xujiahui Commercial Centre, and Zhangyang Road Commercial Centre in Pudong are packed with rows of shops arrayed with large collections of merchandise that are a feast to the eyes and meet the demands of different classes of domestic and foreign customers. Shanghai is also a paradise for gourmets. There are over a thousand restaurants serving the famous 16 styles of Chinese food, such as Beijing, Sichuan, Guangdong, Yangzhou, Fujian, etc. There are also French, Russian, Italian, English, German, Japanese, Indian and other kinds of foreign flavoured cuisines, genuine Muslim food and vegetarian food. In Shanghai you can have a taste of all the different kinds of food in the world. Shanghai is well developed in communications in air, land and sea, which render tourists with fast, efficient and quality service.

In building Shanghai into an international metropolis the open-minded, cheerful and hospital Shanghai people warmly welcome visitors from all places in China and the world.