Fujian - Culture

Culture

See also: Music of Fujian, Hakka architecture, and Dog Kung Fu

Because of its mountainous nature and the numerous waves of migration from central China in the course of history, Fujian is one of the most linguistically diverse places in all Han Chinese areas of China. Local dialects can become unintelligible within 10 kilometres (6.2 mi). This is reflected in the expression that "if you drive five miles in Fujian the culture changes, and if you drive ten miles, the language does". Classification of these various dialects has confounded linguists. In general, most dialects of Fujian are put into a broad Min category, then subdivided into Min Bei, Min Dong, Min Zhong, Min Nan, Pu Xian, and Shao Jiang. (The seventh subdivision of Min, Qiong Wen, is not spoken in Fujian.) The Fuzhou dialect is part of Min Dong, but some linguists classify it as Min Bei; the Amoy language is part of Min Nan. Hakka, another subdivision of spoken Chinese, is spoken around Longyan by the Hakka people who live there.

As is true of other provinces, the official language in Fujian is Mandarin, which is used for communication between people of different localities.

Several regions of Fujian have their own form of Chinese opera. Minju (Fujian Opera) is popular around Fuzhou; Gaojiaxi around Jinjiang and Quanzhou; Xiangju around Zhangzhou; Fujian Nanqu throughout the south, and Puxianxi around Putian and Xianyou County.

Fujian cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood, is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine. It is composed of traditions from various regions, including Fuzhou cuisine and Min Nan cuisine. The most prestigious dish is Fotiaoqiang (literally "Buddha jumps over the wall"), a complex dish making use of many ingredients, including shark fin, sea cucumber, abalone, and Shaoxing wine (a form of "Chinese alcoholic beverage").

Many famous teas originate from Fujian, including oolong, Wuyi Yancha, and Fuzhou jasmine tea. Fujian tea ceremony is an elaborate way of preparing and serving tea. In fact, the English word "tea" is borrowed from Min nan language. (Mandarin and Cantonese pronounce the word chá.)

Fuzhou bodiless lacquer ware, a famous type of lacquer ware, is noted for using a body of clay and/or plaster to form its shape; the body later removed. Fuzhou is also famous for Shoushan stone carvings.

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