Beijing - Culture

Culture

People native to urban Beijing speak the Beijing dialect, which belongs to the Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. This speech is the basis for putonghua, the standard spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan, and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Rural areas of Beijing Municipality have their own dialects akin to those of Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing Municipality.

Beijing or Peking opera (京剧, Jīngjù) is a traditional form of Chinese theater well known throughout the nation. Commonly lauded as one of the highest achievements of Chinese culture, Beijing opera is performed through a combination of song, spoken dialogue, and codified action sequences involving gestures, movement, fighting and acrobatics. Much of Beijing opera is carried out in an archaic stage dialect quite different from Modern Standard Chinese and from the modern Beijing dialect.

Beijing cuisine is the local style of cooking. Peking Roast Duck is perhaps the best known dish. Fuling Jiabing, a traditional Beijing snack food, is a pancake (bing) resembling a flat disk with a filling made from fu ling, a fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine. Teahouses are common in Beijing.

The cloisonné (or Jingtailan, literally "Blue of Jingtai") metalworking technique and tradition is a Beijing art specialty, and is one of the most revered traditional crafts in China. Cloisonné making requires elaborate and complicated processes which include base-hammering, copper-strip inlay, soldering, enamel-filling, enamel-firing, surface polishing and gilding. Beijing's lacquerware is also well known for its sophisticated and intrinsic patterns and images carved into its surface, and the various decoration techniques of lacquer include "carved lacquer" and "engraved gold".

Younger residents of Beijing have become more attracted to the nightlife, which has flourished in recent decades, breaking prior cultural traditions that had practically restricted it to the upper class.

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Famous quotes containing the word culture:

    I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil,—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than as a member of society. I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization: the minister and the school committee and every one of you will take care of that.
    Henry David David (1817–1862)

    Why is it so difficult to see the lesbian—even when she is there, quite plainly, in front of us? In part because she has been “ghosted”Mor made to seem invisible—by culture itself.... Once the lesbian has been defined as ghostly—the better to drain her of any sensual or moral authority—she can then be exorcised.
    Terry Castle, U.S. lesbian author. The Apparitional Lesbian, ch. 1 (1993)

    He was one whose glory was an inner glory, one who placed culture above prosperity, fairness above profit, generosity above possessions, hospitality above comfort, courtesy above triumph, courage above safety, kindness above personal welfare, honor above success.
    Sarah Patton Boyle, U.S. civil rights activist and author. The Desegregated Heart, part 1, ch. 1 (1962)