Quanzhou Ceramic culture
“Dehua has many beautiful ceramics”, is how the Italian traveller Marko Polo described Dehua. Porcelain manufacture has a long history in Dehua. Well-known both in China and overseas for its top quality, fine workmanship, the porcelain industry in Dehua is regarded as one of the three major porcelain capitals in China, together with Jingde town of Jiangxi Province and Lilin of Hunan Province. In Ming Dynasty, the “Ivory White” ceramics developed by the great master He Chaozong surprised the world and was named “China White” by the westerners. People describe Dehua top white porcelain as “white as snow, thin as paper, bright as mirror” and describe Dehua Jianbai porcelain as “smooth and transparent as condensed lipid and frozen jade”. The porcelain Kuanyin made in Dehua is called “Oriental Venus”.
Culture of Hui-an women costumes
The costume culture of Hui-an women dates back into the ancient China. They wore a yellow scarf, a blue short blouse, silver chain and large trousers, which are unique in the national costume culture. The blue short blouse displays the colour of sea and sky, the yellow bamboo hats symbol the land and beach; the flowery scarf indicates the movement of mountain flowers and sea waves. The blouses are tight and short, exposing the navel, displays their characters of being bold, flexible, but extravert. The costume of Hui-an women is always focused on the body above the waist, especially on the head decoration which differs in patterns, occasions and ages. When Hui-an women attend weddings or ceremonies, the head decoration should be bright and colourful to display the “happiness”. The old women of Hui-an usually have a bob on the back of the head and wear a black scarf with pins decorated with beads and flowers, which displays a unique style.
Quanzhou Opera Culture
Dacheng play is also named Fashi Play, Monk Play, Douist play and originated from the religion and folk activities in Quanzhou. Formed by combining Buddhist and Taoist activities, it is a religious play, rarely seen in China. The play provides religious services for both Buddhism and Taoism. Dacheng Play was born in Quanzhou and nourished by Quanzhou folk arts, and is especially deeply influenced by thread controlled puppet plays. After emerging as a new play, it has displayed its uniqueness in Southern Fujian folk operas due to its super Kongfu and technique. Dacheng play is known for its kongfu which applies Quanzhou South Shaolin boxing. The opera has preserved lots of folk stunts, acrobatics and dances. By adopting Taoist and Buddhist music, and “Puppet melody” of thread controlled puppets, the music of the opera displays a unique religious charm.
Quanzhou Liyuan opera is a rare and valuable opera in China, because it still preserves the characteristics of Southern opera from Tang and Song Dynasties. Originating in Quanzhou, it has spread to Taiwan and the Southeast Asian Countries in the footsteps of the emigrants from Quanzhou. Having preserved a large repertoire of southern opera from Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties, Liyuan opera has been called the “living fossil” of opera and is one of the oldest operas existing in China. Liyuan opera is sung by Quan melody. It has preserved a lot of important music from Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty and is closely related with the ancient music -- Southern Tone. The music of Liyuan opera is mainly played by the bamboo flute and string music instruments.
Nanyin (Southern Tone)
Nanyin (Southern tone) is an old and beautiful music and is called the “root of the Chinese national music”. Quanzhou is the cradle of the Southern tone. It has become very popular, after it was enriched, matured and optimized by absorbing the strengths from Central China culture, Fujian culture and maritime culture. Embedded in Quanzhou, Southern tone has not only extended to Southern Fujian Province where Southern Fujian dialect is spoken, but also spread to the Southeast Asian countries, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. By passing from one generation to another, it has become increasingly popular as a “home tone” full of strong passion for the loving the hometown and the motherland. Many Chinese and foreign scholars have complimented Quanzhou southern tone as the “treasure in the Chinese classic music”.