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Tianjin Culture

Tianjin is a provincial level municipality of China, ranking the third largest urban land area after Beijing and Shanghai. It is the only city in China that has the exact record of city construction. With a history of more than 600 years, Tianjin created a uniquely compatible urban style, Chinese and Western, ancient and modern. Tianjin is a cultural city. in the following, culture of Tianjin will be introduce to you including Tianjin Language, folk customs, worship, etc. These will allow you to know more about this city near Beijing.


People who are from urban Tianjin speak Tianjin dialect, which comes under the Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. Although it is much similar to Beijing dialect, Tianjin dialect sounds quite different from Beijing dialect, which provides the basis for Putonghua, the official spoken language of the People's Republic of China. Tianjin dialect usually sound funny when it is speak by the local people.

Folk Customs

There are a couple of folk customs which are well-known in the whole country. Tianjin is a respected home base of Beijing opera, one of the most prestigious forms of Chinese opera. Some stories about these famous folk customs are even written in the textbooks for students to know.

Xiangsheng (相声) is usually known as comic cross talk. Xiangsheng is a hugely popular form of Chinese entertainment, similar to comedy. Tianjin, along with Beijing, is a center for the art of xiangsheng. Xiangsheng is a traditional Chinese comedic performance in the form of a dialogue between two performers, or, much less often, a solo monologue or, even less frequently, a multi-person dialogue. The language, rich in puns and allusions, is delivered in a rapid, bantering style. Crosstalk is one of China's foremost and most popular performing arts

Famous crosstalk comedians in Tianjin include Ma Sanli, Hou Baolin, Ma Yingpei, Ma Ji, Feng Gong, Niu Qun, Guo Degang, Yu Qian and so on. Ma Sanli (马三立) (1914–2003), an ethnic Hui and longtime resident of Tianjin, is renowned for his hilarious Xiangsheng. He delivered some of his Xiangsheng in the Tianjin dialect

Yangliuqing colorful wash painting
Yangliuqing colorful wash painting (Chinese:杨柳青年画) is a kind of popular Chinese New Year-themed and traditional-style folk woodcut painting. Yangliuqing (Green Willows) is a town about 15 km west of Tianjin's urban area and the seat of Tianjin's Xiqing District. It is named after its production place - Yangliuqing Town of Tianjin. It is famous for its popular wash paintings. And this is how this painting got its name. Thanks to its rich themes, elegant patterns and comely color, the Yangliuqing New Year Picture is very popular in many places. One main variety is the chubby and lovely babies with either lotus in their hands or carps in their arms, which symbolizes the auspices.

Zhang's clay figurines
Tianjin is also famous for Zhang's clay figurines (泥人张) which are a type of colorful figurine depicting a variety of vivid characters. It was initiated by Zhang Mingshan (1826-1906), a folk artist of Tianjin, during Daoguang period in Qing Dynasty (1821-1851). Up until now, Clay Figure Zhang has four generations and nearly 180 years of history.

The images of Clay Figure Zhang vary from palace maids in costume, historic figures, religious figures, and modern figures to local customs. It is usually displayed indoor, on the shelf for example, because of its small size (usually 20 cm high).

Wei's kites
Tianjin's Wei's kites (风筝魏), which can be folded to a fraction of their full sizes, are noted for portability. It is a traditional Chinese folk handicraft, originating during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC). Kite Wei developed some 200 kites with many new designs, such as soft-winged, flat hard-winged, three-dimensional and foldaway kites, among which foldaway kite is most noticeable.


There are five religions which got recognition from the government: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestants. Tianjin has a Roman Catholic Diocese of Tianjin, Buddhist Temple of Great Compassion, a Catholic Our Lady of Victory Church (Wanghailou Church), a Catholic St. Joseph's Cathedral (Laoxikai Church) and a Tianjin Jewish Synagoge.


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