Hunan Culture,well known as "Huxiang Culture". Xiang River runs through Hunan province from south to north, Hunan is called "Xiang" for short and boasts its "Xiang Cuisine", "Xiang Embroidery", "Xiang Opera", and "Xiang Army".Huxiang Culture is basically a regional culture handed down from generation to generation in Hunan.
History of Hunan Culture
From the Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty (1600 BC-1100 BC) to the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), Hunan's culture was represented by the Chu culture from the north, the Miaoman culture of the original Miao nationality, and the Yue culture from the south and west. Patriotic poet Qu Yuan's poetry and the historical relics in Mawangdui Han Tomb are featured with Chu culture.
When it came to the Southern and Northern Dynasties and the Tang and Song Dynasties, even extending to the Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasty, remarkable changes took place along with several large migrations, concerning population distribution, customs and habits, as well as ideologies among Huxiang people. Large number of great ideologists came out then to form a new regional culture, including the founder of Neo-Confucianism Zhou Dunyi, Confucius follower Wang Fuzhi who believed that neo-Confucianism had distorted Confucius' teachings, and Wei Yuan, who attempted to combine traditional scholarly knowledge with practical experience to find workable solutions to the problems plaguing the government at the time.
Originated from the Chu culture of the pre-Qin period, and enriched with the Yellow River plain culture in the Song and Ming Dynasty, Huxiang culture became splendid with the reputable attribution of "half of Chinese modern history was participated in by Hunanese", and "an army cannot be formed without Hunanese".
Initiated by Hu Anguo in the Song Dynasty, and developed with Hu Hong, Zhang Shi, Wang Chuanshan, Zeng Guofan, Tan Sitong, Yang Changji, and even Mao Zedong, Huxiang philosophical thought form its distinctive features. It combined the moral-oriented philosophy of the Neo-Confucianism with humanistic pragmatism, which has been passed on from generation to generation till modern times. Hunaneses played brilliant roles in the modern history of China. Despite different political view, their academic and cultural styles of being pragmatic were almost the same.
Huxiang education rose in the Song Dynasty. With thousand-year development, it has formed its unique traditions: equal stress on both learning and thinking; unity of theory and practice. Huxiang education pay attentions to independent thinking as well as rational criticism, which is represented by Yuelu Academy.
The western Han painting on silk found in Mawangdui Tomb is considered as an origin of Chinese painting. Colored lacquer painting in the Western Han Dynasty is among the earlist oil painting in the world. Yi Yuanji, Zhang Yizun, Qi Baishi and Huang Yongyu are representatives of Huxiang masters of fine arts. Xiang opera is one of the major local operas in Hunan, also called "Changsha Banzi" and "Xiangtan Banzi" by folks. Due to its Zhongzhou rhyme and Changsha mandarin, it is also named Changsha Xiang Opera. Hunan's operas includes Qi Opera, Chenhe Opera, Hengyang Xiang Opera, Wuling Opera, Jinhe Opera, Baling Opera, Xiang Kun, Changsha Flower Drum Opera and Shaoyang Flower Drum Opera...More
|Hunan Opera||Hunan Embroidery|
Huxiang area has been long inhabited many ethnic groups. The minority groups are Tujia, Miao, Dong, Yao, Hui, Bai, Zhuang, and Uighurs. Different traditions and folk customs have been formed along with different evolvement, living areas, production modes, religious beliefs of the groups. These traditions and customs communicate with and influence each other, jointly forming a distinctive Huxiang folk culture.
| Dong Nationality |
| Yao Nationality || Bai Nationality ||Muslim in Hunan|
Noted persons of Huxiang Culture
Hunan Province has been celebrated for its remarkable "Hunan Cultural Phenomenon", "Hunan Army of Broadcasting and TV", "Hunan Army of Publishing", "Hunan Army of Performing Arts" and "Hunan Army of Animated Cartoons" in recent years. As revealed in the Chinese Cultural Industry Development Index Report 2013, Hunan was among the top ten provinces in cultural industry development. According to the estimated data of Hunan Provincial Bureau of Statistics, the value added of Hunan's cultural industry in the first half of 2014 was 78 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 15.5%. Cultural and Creative industry has become Hunan's pillar industry and 100 million industry as well as strategic emerging industry. Reed More