Living Cultural Heritage

China boasts a very long history and a rich cultural heritage. Many traditions are still very much alive. Some of those, such as tai chi and Chinese Chess, are ubiquitous around the country. Others, like Suzhou embroidery and Thangka art, are preserved in specific regions or practiced by different ethnic groups. In this column, writer Peter Zhang and arts editor Chen Jie will offer readers insight into some of the most popular living cultural practices in the country, as well as some of the fascinating stories behind each of them. This series of articles is also intended to help readers obtain a better understanding of traditional Chinese culture and the people who helped create it.
Art & Culture

'Queen of Textiles' is a silkworm fairy tale

Nearly every wonder of the ancient Chinese civilization has a legendary beginning, and this is clearly evident in silk, the "Queen of Textiles."
Art & Culture

A stone more precious than gems

Inkstones are one of the Four Treasures of Chinese culture – more precious than gemstones.



Art & Culture

Xuan paper: An icon of Chinese culture

Xuan paper dates back centuries and can reputedly last 1,000 years. It is part of the fabric of China's culture and arts.


Art & Culture

Batik, an integral part of Miao ancient culture and history

For many people, batik, wax-resist dyeing of cloth, is merely a craft. But, for the ethnic Miao, batik is an integral part of their ancient culture and history.
Art & Culture

Jingdezhen, the home of porcelain

Jingdezhen, a small city in Jiangxi Province, once gave the country not only centuries of great international influence, but also its English name "China."
Art & Culture

Unearthing the Holy Grail of all teaware

American author James Norwood Pratt perfectly captured the world's love of tea when he said: "Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty."
Art & Culture

Laugh it off: Xiangsheng style

Xiangsheng, or crosstalk, that thrived during the Qing Dynasty remains a popular performing art form in China, and has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage. 

Art & Culture

Northeast's cultural gift: a  song-and-dance for two

Er Ren Zhuan, or song-and-dance duet, is a special folk performance that originated in the cold winters of the northeast but is now enjoyed all over the country.

Art & Culture

Ballad singing in most 'melodious' dialect

Pingtan, a combination of storytelling and ballad singing in the Suzhou dialect, is one of the most noticeable in the country. 
Art & Culture

Paper-cut art: from ancient times to modern technology

Paper-cut is an integral part of Chinese life and culture and expresses the moral principles, philosophies and aesthetic ideals of its exponents.
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