Xi’an Culture

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A typical Chinese pavilion located in Xi’an

The culture of Xi’an descends from one of the world’s earliest civilizations. The Guanzhong Ren (simplified Chinese: 关中人; traditional Chinese: 關中人; pinyin: Guānzhōng rén) culture is considered the cultural antecedent of Xi’anese; their features are satirized as the “Ten Strangenesses of Guanzhong Ren” (simplified Chinese: 关中十大怪; traditional Chinese: 關中十大怪; pinyin: Guānzhōng shí dà guài). Xi’an is also known for the “Eight Great Sights of Chang’an” (simplified Chinese: 长安八景; traditional Chinese: 長安八景; pinyin: Cháng’ān bājǐng), a collection of scenic areas in the region.

Much like Beijing 798 and Shanghai 1933, Xi’an has an art district called Textile Town (Chinese: 纺织城; pinyin:Fǎngzhī chéng). The district is not an actual town but derives its name from the many textile factories built there since the 1950s. Today it is no longer a centre for the textile industry but a new art factory with 4 workshops in total. Since March 2007, more than 40 artists have taken a part in these workshops.

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Yangrou Paomo, a well-known Xi’an cuisine

Xi’an is home to contemporary Chinese stars such as Xu Wei, Zhang Chu and Zheng Jun. The ancient folk genreXi’an guyue is named for Xi’an.

Paomo yangrou (flat bread soaked in lamb soup; simplified Chinese: 羊肉泡馍; traditional Chinese: 羊肉泡饃; pinyin: Yángròu pàomó) is well known Xi’anese dish.

Opera

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Traditional Chinese musical performances at Xi’an

Qinqiang (Voice of Qin) is the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera. Also called “random pluck” (Chinese: 乱弹; pinyin: Luàntán), Qinqiang is the main type of drama in Shaanxi province. As the earliest ancestor of Beijing Opera, Yu Opera, Chuan Opera and Hebei Opera, Qinqiang has developed its own system of unique vocal music, spoken parts, facial makeup, posture, role, category and acting. It can be traced to Xi Qinqiang (Chinese: 西秦腔; pinyin: Xi qínqiāng; literally: “Voice of West Qin”) in Qin dynasty, and blossomed until Qing dynasty, with direct influences on many branches of Chinese Opera.

Cinema

Zhang Yimou and Gu Changwei are directors from Xi’an. Xi’an is also the only city in China to win the Golden Bear (Berlin Film Festival) twice. The first film is Red Sorghum and the second one is Tuya’s Marriage. They are produced by Xi’an Filmmaking Factory (now called Xi’an Qujiang Filmmaking Group) and Xi’an Filmmaking Company, respectively.

Posted in Xi'an.

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