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Chongqing and Sichuan

Chongqing is not officially part of the Sichuan Province but there is a very close relationship! Chongqing was part of Sichuan until 1997 when the area (about 450 kms by 450 kms) was separated from Sichuan and placed under direct rule from Beijing.

Chongqing was designated a special economic development zone because of its location on the Yangtze and to help develop the west of China. This accounts for the rapid growth of Chongqing in the last few years.

Much of Sichuan culture and food is still very prevalent in Chongqing. The hot spicey food of Chongqing is an example.

Consider music.

The Chinese girl in the picture is playing the Gu Zheng string instrument at an outdoor restaurant in  Chengdu.

This is a traditional string instrument that has been used in China for about 2,000 years.

It is still one of the most popular Chinese musical instruments. Some young Chinese are still learning to play it today.Such music is also well known in Chongqing.

Sichuan opera is very popular in Chongqing.

The Sichuan Opera uses a variety of face masks. These Chinese opera masks are used to create characters. One actor can play many characters by changing their face mask.  The Chinese mask is a feature of Sichuan opera.

But I also found the same type of opera in Chongqing.
In fact, the first time I saw such a performance was at the Chongqing Mayor's New Year's concert for foreigners. A very fine performer rapidly changed face masks with a wave of his hand. Each mask represented a different character.

 And of course there is the food. Chongqing is well known for its hot spicy food which is a feature of Sichuan. Just walk near some of the outdoor restaurants and you will smell the strong odour of Sichuan pepper which, together with chilis are found in many Chongqing cuisines.

Yet the people of Chongqing have developed their own identity as well, if only often in the way they speak. People in Chongqing often spoke to me as being different to the people of Sichuan and were very quick to distinguishthemselves from Sichuanese people.

Yet there is still a strong association with Chongqing and Sichuan. To find out more visit About Sichuan.

John O

By johnotvi (Male. Australia)
Date: 10 Jan 10    Views: 102    Comments: 0          

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