When the Shanghai Museum recently began to stay open in the evening, the 2,000-visitors' quota for the evening ran out in 15 minutes. This surging enthusiasm for a cultural night life was totally unexpected. So now to meet this demand, Shanghai has also launched other cultural programs in the evening.
During the day, the vast majority of people don't have time for any cultural life and there is a lack of such day-time activities on weekdays. However, after a day's hard work, to have fun at night is a very enjoyable thing. In this sense, night is a golden time for cultural activities.
In many cities, local city managers have sensed this kind of need and the nighttime economy has become a common phenomenon. Some cities have already worked out policies to develop their nighttime economy. The problem now is that although people's demand for a rich evening life is being met, the forms of nocturnal activities are limited. They are mostly commercial activities like snacking and going to the movies. There is yet to be more high-quality cultural activities. Most museums, art galleries and libraries close at around 5 p.m.
The role of cultural venues like museums is irreplaceable in terms of improving people's cultural taste and quality. Their absence in people's evening life is a pity. If more such venues are open at night so that people can go to libraries to borrow and read books, visit museums, attend salons or educational activities, it will greatly improve the entire society's cultural quality.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in Guangming Daily on July 29)