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Discovering Huizhou Culture

CultureDiscovering Huizhou Culture

Huizhou culture, also known as Huizhou merchant’s culture, refers to the culture of the Huizhou region in eastern China. It encompasses the culture of Anhui Province, parts of Jiangsu Province, and Zhejiang Province. The Huizhou culture has a rich history dating back over 1,000 years, and it is characterized by its unique architecture, art, literature, and cuisine. Here is a glimpse of what makes Huizhou culture so special.


One of the most notable features of Huizhou culture is its distinctive architecture. Huizhou-style architecture is characterized by its gray tiles, white walls, black wooden doors, and intricate carvings. The most famous examples of Huizhou-style architecture can be found in the ancient towns of Xidi and Hongcun in southern Anhui Province. These towns have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to their well-preserved examples of Huizhou-style architecture.


Huizhou culture is also known for its art, particularly its painting and calligraphy. The Huizhou School of painting emerged in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is known for its realistic depictions of landscapes and people. The Huizhou School was heavily influenced by the literati culture of the time, and its artists were often scholars and officials. The calligraphy of Huizhou is also highly regarded, and many famous calligraphers come from this region.


Huizhou culture has a rich literary tradition. The Huizhou merchants, who were known for their business acumen and wealth, also had a strong interest in literature. Many of them were avid collectors of books and were patrons of scholars and writers. The most famous work of Huizhou literature is the novel “Dream of the Red Chamber,” which was written by Cao Xueqin, a native of the region. The novel is considered one of the greatest works of Chinese literature and is a masterpiece of psychological insight and social commentary.


Huizhou cuisine is famous for its delicate flavors and beautiful presentation. The cuisine is characterized by its use of wild herbs and flowers, as well as its emphasis on the natural flavors of the ingredients. Huizhou cuisine is also known for its use of bamboo shoots, which are grown abundantly in the region. Some of the most famous dishes in Huizhou cuisine include stewed turtle with ham, braised pork belly with soy sauce, and steamed mandarin fish.

In conclusion, the Huizhou culture in eastern China is a diverse and vibrant cultural heritage. It has left behind a rich legacy in the form of its distinctive architecture, art, literature, and cuisine. The culture is a testimony to the ingenuity, creativity, and intellectual prowess of the people of this region. A visit to the ancient towns of Xidi and Hongcun, a sampling of Huizhou cuisine, and an appreciation of Huizhou art and literature will leave one with a deep appreciation of this unique culture.

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