Cantonese opera is one of the major categories in Chinese opera, originating in southern China's Guangdong Province. It is popular in Guangdong, Hong Kong and among Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. Like all versions of Chinese opera, it is a traditional Chinese art form, involving music, martial arts and acting. There is debate about the origins of Cantonese opera, but it is accepted that opera was brought from the northern part of China and migrated to the southern province of Guangdong in the late 13th century, during the late Southern Song dynasty. In the 12th century, there was a theatrical form called the Nanxi or "Southern drama", performed in public theatres of Hangzhou capital of the Southern Song. With the invasion of the Mongol army, Emperor Gong of the Song dynasty fled with hundreds of thousands of Song people into Guangdong in 1276. Among them were Nanxi performers from Zhejiang, who brought Nanxi into Guangdong and helped develop the opera traditions in the south. Many well-known operas performed today, such as Tai Nui Fa originated in the Ming Dynasty and The Purple Hairpin originated in the Yuan Dynasty, with lyrics and scripts in Cantonese.
Until the 20th century all the female roles were performed by males. Beginning in the 1950s immigrants fled Shanghai to areas such as North Point, their arrival boosted the Cantonese opera fan-base. The Chinese Government wanted to deliver the message of socialist revolution to Chinese people under colonial governance in Hong Kong. Agents of the Chinese government founded newspaper platforms, such as Ta Kung Pao and Chang Cheung Hua Pao to promote Cantonese Opera to the Hong Kong audience; these new platforms were used to promote new Cantonese Opera releases. This helped to boost the popularity of Cantonese Opera among the Hong Kong audience. Cantonese Opera became a part of daily entertainment activity in the colony; the popularity of a Cantonese Opera continued to grow during the 1960s. More theatres were established in Sheung Wan and Sai Wan, which became important entertainment districts. Performances began to be held in playgrounds, which provided more opportunities to develop Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong.
As the variety of venues grew, so the variety of audiences became wider. However, Cantonese Opera began to decline as cinema started to develop in the late 1960s. Compared to Cantonese Opera, cinema was cheaper and TV was more convenient. Subsequently, some theatres started to be repurposed as residential buildings; the resulting decline in available theatres further contributed to the decline of Cantonese Opera in the territory. Since the demolition of Lee Theatre and the closing down of many stages that were dedicated to Cantonese genre throughout the decades, Hong Kong's Sunbeam Theatre is one of the last facilities, still standing to exhibit Cantonese Opera. By early 1980s, Leung Hon-wai was one of the first in his generation of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong who gave classes and engaged in talent-hunting; the Cantonese Opera Academy of Hong Kong classes started in 1980. To intensify education in Cantonese opera, they started to run an evening part-time certificate course in Cantonese Opera training with assistance from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1998.
In 1999, the Association and the Academy further conducted a two-year daytime diploma programme in performing arts in Cantonese Opera in order to train professional actors and actresses. Aiming at further raising the students' level, the Association and the Academy launched an advanced course in Cantonese opera in the next academic year. In recent years, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council has given grants to the Love and Faith Cantonese Opera Laboratory to conduct Cantonese opera classes for children and young people; the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has funded the International Association of Theatre Critics to implement the "Cultural Envoy Scheme for Cantonese Opera" for promoting traditional Chinese productions in the community. The Hong Kong Government planned to promote Cantonese Opera through different communication channels, they wanted to build more theatres for the Hong Kong public to have more opportunities to enjoy Cantonese Opera. The scheme arrived to develope professional talents in Cantonese Opera.
Cantonese Opera became a part of the compulsory Music subject in primary school. For teachers, the Education Bureau provided some training and teaching materials related to Cantonese Opera. To continue the tradition by passing on what elders and veterans inherited from former generations and to improve sustainability with new and original music and scripts. Cantonese Opera Development Fund Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Grants The Art of Fong Yim-fun Sustainability Project, Shaw College, CUHK. In August 2014, the Fong Yim Fun Art Gallery was formally opened. Dr. Yang Leung Yin-fong Katie, the Honorary Life Chairman, donated one of her properties to be the permanent office of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong to provide residences for aged musicians. In the 1840s, a large number of Guangdong businessmen came to Shanghai for opportunities, they owned abundant resources, their influence in Shanghai has increased. Various clansmen associations have been established to sponsor different cultural activities, Cantonese opera was one of them.
From the 1920s to the 1930s, the development of Cantonese opera in Shanghai was impressive. At that time, the department stores opened
The Cantonese people are subgroup of the Han Chinese people native to and/or originating from the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, in southern mainland China. Although more "Cantonese" refers only to the people from Guangzhou and its satellite cities and towns and/or native speakers of Standard Cantonese, rather than and referring to the people of the Liangguang region; the Cantonese people share a common native culture, history and language. They are referred to as "Hoa" in Vietnam, "Kongfu" in Malaysia and "Konghu" in Indonesia.". Centered on and predominating the Pearl River Basin shared between Guangdong and Guangxi, the Cantonese people are responsible for establishing their native language's usage in Hong Kong and Macau during the early migrations within the British and Portuguese colonial eras respectively. Today, Hong Kong and Macau are the only regions in the world where Cantonese is the official spoken language, with the mixed influences of English and Portuguese respectively. Cantonese is traditionally and remains today a majority language in Guangdong and Guangxi, despite the increasing influence of Mandarin.
There are around 9 million Cantonese speakers overseas. Taishanese people may be considered Cantonese but speak a distinct variety of Yue Chinese Taishanese. There have been a number of influential Cantonese figures throughout history, such as Yuan Chonghuan, Bruce Lee, Liang Qichao, Sun Yat-Sen, Lee Shau-kee, Ho Ching and Flossie Wong-Staal. "Cantonese" has been used to describe all Chinese people from Guangdong since "Cantonese" is treated as a synonym with "Guangdong" and the Cantonese language is treated as the sole language of the region. This is inaccurate as "Canton" itself technically only refers to Guangdong's capital Guangzhou and the Cantonese language refers to only the Guangzhou dialect of the Yue Chinese languages; the English name "Canton" derived from Portuguese Cantão or Cidade de Cantão, a muddling of dialectical pronunciations of "Guangdong". Although it and chiefly applied to the walled city of Guangzhou, it was conflated with Guangdong by some authors. Within Guangdong and Guangxi, Cantonese is considered the prestige dialect and is called baahk wá which means "vernacular".
In historical times, it was known as "Guangzhou speech" or Guangzhounese but due to Guangzhou's prosperity it has led people to conflate it with all Yue languages and many now refer to "Guangzhou speech" as "Guangdong speech". Similar cases where entire Chinese language families are thought to be a single language occur with non-specialists, conflating all Wu Chinese languages as just Shanghainese and its different forms, as it is the prestige dialect, or that Mandarin only refers to the Beijing-based Standard Chinese and that it is a single language rather than a large group of related varieties. There are many other Chinese languages spoken by the Han Chinese in these areas. In Guangxi, Southwestern Mandarin is spoken. In Guangdong, aside from other Yue Chinese languages, these non-Cantonese languages include Hakka, Leizhou Min, Tuhua. Non-Cantonese speaking Yue peoples are sometimes labelled as "Cantonese" such as the Taishanese people though Taishanese has low intelligibility to Standard Cantonese.
The Taishanese see themselves as people of Guangdong, but not Cantonese. Some literature uses neutral terminology such as Guangdongnese and Guangxinese to refer to people from these provinces without the cultural or linguistic affiliations to Cantonese; until the 19th century, Cantonese history was the history of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. What is now Guangdong, Guangxi, was first brought under Qin influence by a general named Zhao Tuo, who founded the kingdom of Nanyue in 204 BC; the Nanyue kingdom went on to become the strongest Baiyue state in China, with many neighboring kingdoms declaring their allegiance to Nanyue rule. Zhao Tuo took the Han territory of Hunan and defeated the Han dynasty's first attack on Nanyue annexing the kingdom of Minyue in the East and conquering Âu Lạc, Northern Vietnam, in the West in 179 BC; the expanded Nanyue kingdom included the territories of modern-day Guangdong and Northern Vietnam, with the capital situated at modern-day Guangzhou. The native peoples of Liangguang remained under Baiyue control until the Han dynasty in 111 BC, following the Han–Nanyue War.
However, it was not until subsequent dynasties such as the Jin Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty that major waves of Han Chinese began to migrate south into Guangdong and Guangxi. Waves of migration and subsequent intermarriage meant that existing populations of both provinces were displaced, but some native groups like the Zhuangs still remained; the Cantonese call themselves "people of Tang". This is because of the inter-mixture between native and Han immigrants in Guangdong and Guangxi reached a critical mass of acculturation during the Tang dynasty, creating a new local identity among the Liangguang peoples. During the 4th–12th centuries, Han Chinese people from North China's Yellow River delta migrated and settled in the South of China; this gave rise to peoples including the Cantonese themselves and Hoklos, whose ancestors migrated from Henan and Shandong, to areas of southeastern coastal China such as Chaozhou and Zhangzhou and other parts of Guangdong during the Tang d
Cantopop or HK-pop is a genre of popular music written in standard modern Chinese but sung in Cantonese. Cantopop is used to refer to the cultural context of its production and consumption; the genre began in the 1970s and became associated with Hong Kong popular music from the middle of the decade. Cantopop reached its height of popularity in the 1980s and 1990s before declining in the 2000s and slight revival in the 2010s; the term "Cantopop" itself was coined in 1978 after "Cantorock", a term first used in 1974. Cantopop reached its highest glory with a fanbase and concert reaching Mainland China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan with the influx of songs from Hong Kong movies. Besides Western pop music, Cantopop is influenced by other international genres, including jazz and roll, R&B, disco and others. Cantopop songs are invariably performed in Cantonese. Boasting a multinational fanbase in Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as in South Korea, Japan and the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi in southeastern mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, remain the most significant hubs of the genre.
Examples of some of the most significant figures in the Cantopop industry include Paula Tsui, Samuel Hui, Roman Tam, Jenny Tseng, George Lam, Alan Tam, Leslie Cheung, Danny Chan, Anita Mui, Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, Sandy Lam, Faye Wong, Leon Lai, Aaron Kwok, Sammi Cheng, Kelly Chen, Eason Chan, Joey Yung, etc. Western-influenced music first came to China in the 1920s through Shanghai. Artists like Zhou Xuan recorded popular songs. Zhou was the first Chinese pop star. In 1949 when the People's Republic of China was established by the Communist Party of China, one of the first actions taken by the government was to denounce pop music as decadent music. Beginning in the 1950s, massive waves of immigrants fled Shanghai to destinations like North Point in Hong Kong; as a result, many first generation Cantopop artists and composers hail from Shanghai. By the 1960s, Cantonese music in Hong Kong was still limited to traditional Cantonese opera and comic renditions of western music. Tang Kee-chan, Cheng Kuan-min, Tam Ping-man were among the earliest artists releasing Cantonese records.
The generation at the time preferred American exports. Western culture was at the time equated with education and sophistication, Elvis, Johnny Mathis and The Beatles were popular. Conversely, those who preferred Cantonese music were considered uneducated. Cheng Kum-cheung and Chan Chai-chung were two popular Cantonese singers who targeted the younger generation. Connie Chan Po-chu is considered to be Hong Kong's first teen idol due to her career longevity. Josephine Siao is another artist of the era. Local bands mimicked American bands. Two types of local Cantonese music appeared in the market nearly concurrently in 1973: one type cashed in on the popularity of TVB's drama series based on the more traditional lyrical styles; the other was more western style music from Polydor Hong Kong. Notable singers from the era include Paula Tsui. At the same time, television was fast becoming a household must have that offering free entertainment to the public. For example, The Fatal Irony 《啼笑因緣》and Games Gamblers Play《鬼馬雙星》 took the local music scene by storm as soon as they were broadcast on the radio and television.
Soap operas were needed to fill TV air time, popular Cantonese songs became TV theme songs. Around 1971, Sandra Lang, a minor singer who had never sung Cantopop before, was invited to sing the first Cantonese TV theme song "A marriage of Laughter and Tears"; this song was a collaboration between the legendary Joseph Koo. It topped local charts. Other groups that profited from TV promotion included the Four Golden Flowers. Samuel Hui is regarded by some to be the earliest singing star of Cantopop, he was the lead singer of the band Lotus formed in the late 1960s, signed to Polydor in 1972. The song that made him famous was the theme song to Games Gamblers Play starring Hui; the star of TV theme tunes was Roman Tam. Three of the most famous TV soap opera singers were Liza Wang and Adam Cheng; the Wynners and George Lam amassed a big fan base with their new style. Samuel Hui continued to dominate the charts and won the Centennial Best Sales Award in the first and second IFPI Gold Disc Presentations twice in a row in 1977 and 1978.
Polydor became PolyGram in 1978. It was at this time; the Billboard correspondent Hans Ebert, who had earlier coined the term Cantorock in 1974, noted a change in its style to something similar to British-American soft rock, therefore started to use the term Cantopop instead in 1978. In the media aspect, in 1974, as the theme song of The Fatal Irony《啼笑因緣》was suceed, so TVB sold to the Mainland and other countries, Cantopop reached overseas audiences through drama series. During the 1980s, Cantopop soared to great heights with artists and record companies working in harmony. Cantopop stars such as Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, George Lam, Alan Tam, Sally Yeh, Priscilla Chan, Sandy Lam, Danny Chan became household names; the industry used Cantopop songs in TV dramas and movies, with some of the biggest soundtracks coming from films such as A Better Tomorrow. Sponsors and record companies became comfortable with the idea of lucrative contracts and million-dollar signings
Cantonese cuisine or more Guangdong cuisine known as Yue cuisine, refers to the cuisine of China's Guangdong Province the provincial capital, Guangzhou. "Cantonese" refers to only Guangzhou or the language known as Cantonese associated with it, but people refer to "Cantonese cuisine" to all the cooking styles of the speakers of Yue Chinese languages from within Guangdong. The Teochew cuisine and Hakka cuisine of Guangdong are considered their own styles, as is neighboring Guangxi's cuisine despite being considered culturally Cantonese, it is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the large number of Cantonese emigrants. Chefs trained in Cantonese cuisine are sought after throughout China; until most Chinese restaurants in the West served Cantonese dishes. Guangzhou City, the provincial capital of Guangdong and the center of Cantonese culture, has long been a trading hub and many imported foods and ingredients are used in Cantonese cuisine.
Besides pork and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates all edible meats, including offal, chicken feet, duck's tongue, frog legs and snails. However and goat are less used than in the cuisines of northern or western China. Many cooking methods are used, with steaming and stir frying being the most favoured due to their convenience and rapidity. Other techniques include shallow frying, double steaming and deep frying. For many traditional Cantonese cooks, the flavours of a dish should be well balanced and not greasy. Apart from that, spices should be used in modest amounts to avoid overwhelming the flavours of the primary ingredients, these ingredients in turn should be at the peak of their freshness and quality. There is no widespread use of fresh herbs in Cantonese cooking, in contrast with their liberal use in other cuisines such as Sichuanese, Lao and European. Garlic chives and coriander leaves are notable exceptions, although the former are used as a vegetable and the latter are used as mere garnish in most dishes.
In Cantonese cuisine, a number of ingredients such as sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar and sesame oil, suffice to enhance flavour, although garlic is used in some dishes those in which internal organs, such as entrails, may emit unpleasant odours. Ginger, chili peppers, five-spice powder, powdered black pepper, star anise and a few other spices are used, but sparingly. Although Cantonese cooks pay much attention to the freshness of their primary ingredients, Cantonese cuisine uses a long list of preserved food items to add flavour to a dish; this may be influenced by Hakka cuisine, since the Hakkas were once a dominant group occupying imperial Hong Kong and other southern territories. Some items gain intense flavours during the drying/preservation/oxidation process and some foods are preserved to increase their shelf life; some chefs combine both fresh varieties of the same items in a dish. Dried items are soaked in water to rehydrate before cooking; these ingredients are not served a la carte, but rather with vegetables or other Cantonese dishes.
A number of dishes have been part of Cantonese cuisine since the earliest territorial establishments of Guangdong. While many of these are on the menus of typical Cantonese restaurants, some simpler ones are more found in Cantonese homes. Home-made Cantonese dishes are served with plain white rice. There are a small number of deep-fried dishes in Cantonese cuisine, which can be found as street food, they have been extensively documented in colonial Hong Kong records of the 20th centuries. A few are synonymous with Cantonese breakfast and lunch though these are part of other cuisines. Old fire soup, or lou fo tong, is a clear broth prepared by simmering meat and other ingredients over a low heat for several hours. Chinese herbs are used as ingredients. There are two ways to make old fire soup – put ingredients and water in the pot and heat it directly on fire, called bou tong; the latter way can keep the most original taste of the soup. Soup chain stores or delivery outlets in cities with significant Cantonese populations, such as Hong Kong, serve this dish due to the long preparation time required of slow-simmered soup.
Due to Guangdong's location along the South China Sea coast, fresh seafood is prominent in Cantonese cuisine, many Cantonese restaurants keep aquariums or seafood tanks on the premises. In Cantonese cuisine, as in cuisines from other parts of Asia, if seafood has a repugnant odour, strong spices and marinating juices are added. For instance, in some recipes, only a small amount of soy sauce and spring onion is added to steamed fish. In Cantonese cuisine, the light seasoning is used only to bring out the natural sweetness of the seafood; as a rule of thumb, the spiciness of a dish is inversely proportionate to the freshness of the ingredients. Noodles are served either in soup fried; these are available as home-cooked meals, on dim sum side menus, or as street food at dai pai dongs, where they can be served with a variety of toppings such as fish balls, beef balls, or fish slices. Siu mei is the Chinese rotisserie
Cantonese is a variety of Chinese spoken in the city of Guangzhou and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety and standard form of Yue Chinese, one of the major subgroups of Chinese. In mainland China, it is the lingua franca of the province of Guangdong and neighbouring areas such as Guangxi, it is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese is widely spoken amongst Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western world. While the term Cantonese refers to the prestige variety, it is used in a broader sense for the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese; when Cantonese and the related Yuehai dialects are classified together, there are about 80 million total speakers. Cantonese is viewed as a vital and inseparable part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swaths of Southeastern China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in overseas communities.
Although Cantonese shares a lot of vocabulary with Mandarin, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of differences in pronunciation and lexicon. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. A notable difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is; this results in the situation in which a Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar but are pronounced differently. In English, the term "Cantonese" can be ambiguous. Cantonese proper is the variety native to the city of Canton, the traditional English name of Guangzhou; this narrow sense may be specified as "Canton language" or "Guangzhou language". However, "Cantonese" may refer to the primary branch of Chinese that contains Cantonese proper as well as Taishanese and Gaoyang. In this article, "Cantonese" is used for Cantonese proper. Speakers called this variety "Canton speech" or "Guangzhou speech", although this term is now used outside Guangzhou. In Guangdong and Guangxi, people call it "provincial capital speech" or "plain speech".
Academically called "Canton prefecture speech". In Hong Kong and Macau, as well as among overseas Chinese communities, the language is referred to as "Guangdong speech" or "Canton Province speech", or as "Chinese". In mainland China, the term "Guangdong speech" is increasingly being used amongst both native and non-native speakers. Given the history of the development of the Yue languages and dialects during the Tang dynasty migrations to the region, in overseas Chinese communities, it is referred to as "Tang speech", given that the Cantonese people refer to themselves as "people of Tang". Due to its status as a prestige dialect among all the dialects of the Yue branch of Chinese varieties, it is called "Standard Cantonese"; the official languages of Hong Kong are English, as defined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Chinese language has many different varieties. Given the traditional predominance of Cantonese within Hong Kong, it is the de facto official spoken form of the Chinese language used in the Hong Kong Government and all courts and tribunals.
It is used as the medium of instruction in schools, alongside English. A similar situation exists in neighboring Macau, where Chinese is an official language alongside Portuguese; as in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant spoken variety of Chinese used in everyday life and is thus the official form of Chinese used in the government. The Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong and Macau is mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken in the mainland city of Guangzhou, although there exist some minor differences in accent and vocabulary. Cantonese first developed around the port city of Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta region of southeastern China. Due to the city's long standing as an important cultural center, Cantonese emerged as the prestige dialect of the Yue varieties of Chinese in the Southern Song dynasty and its usage spread around most of what is now the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Despite the cession of Macau to Portugal in 1557 and Hong Kong to Britain in 1842, the ethnic Chinese population of the two territories originated from the 19th and 20th century immigration from Guangzhou and surrounding areas, making Cantonese the predominant Chinese language in the territories.
On the mainland, Cantonese continued to serve as the lingua franca of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces after Mandarin was made the official language of the government by the Qing dynasty in the early 1900s. Cantonese remained a dominant and influential language in southeastern China until the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and its promotion of Standard Chinese as the sole official language of the nation throughout the last half of the 20th century, although its influence still remains strong within the region. While the Chinese government vehemently discourages the official use of all forms of Chinese except Standard Chinese, Cantonese enjoys a higher standing than other Chinese langua