The days when Kulangsu (formerly known as Gulanguy) was just a small, unknown island with many hidden treasures are now long gone. Today, Kulangsu represents a potent touristic destination ready to release its full potential and present it to the world. What makes Kulangsu stand out, in particular, is the unique way it marries rich tradition and the modern Western influence, which has been an integral part of the island for years. The amount of both traditional and modern cultural heritage on Kulangsu is so immense that it seems that every single corner of this small island is a monument. What’s more, the Kulangsu cultural heritage has been recognized as world heritage of great value.
Not only did Kulangsu preserve its tradition and uniqueness during two globalizations, but it also found a way to benefit from the foreign influence and permanently engrave it into its identity. The Kulansgu locals who returned to the island brought a breath of fresh air and greatly contributed to the modernization of the island, while also preserving its ancient originality. This modern influence can be felt to this day in various spheres of the island’s life, including economy, religion, education, architecture, and of course art – especially music.
Chen Zhenhe, a member of the national football team of China in 1920, is one of the greatest contributors to Kulangsu’s modern identity. Being a devoted patriot, Chen swapped his position on the national football team for a place in the air force of China, proudly defending his country against Japanese aggressors and laying down his life for his nation. Today, Chen is a symbol of Kulangsu’s national pride and the efforts of its people to preserve the greatness of this island and contribute to its expansion.