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Culture of Beijing Hutong

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Discover abundant culture of Beijing Hutong Beijing Hutong
In many people's minds, Beijing is associated with the hutongs. They are an important part of the culture and the way of life of Beijingers, especially the older generation.

Old Hutong custom
Walking through the hutongs, it is common to see groups of elderly citizens sitting together playing cards or Chinese chess. In the early mornings and evenings, they gather to practice traditional forms of exercise such as taijiquan as well as to dance and sing folk songs or Peking Opera arias. Also important to hutong life is the traditional foods being sold in carts or small stalls. These change according to the season, from flavoured ice in the summer to long kebabs of crab apples covered in sugar in the autumn and winter.

Hutong and literature
So important are the hutongs to the culture of Beijing that there have been many operas, plays and films about them. And in numerous hutongs are scattered the residences of famous personages, and these places are repositories.

  • Laoshe (1899 - 1966)
    Laoshe , a well-known playwright is just one of them. He is one of 20th century China's greatest novelists and playwrights. Laoshe was born in a small lane, in the west part of the city. The memory of his childhood was so dear and impressive that after he'd been away from Beijing for more than 20 years, he still clearly remembered his birthplace, and he made it the backdrop of his novel "the Four Generations Under One Roof". Many famous operas and dramas are based on the themes of the " hutong life". His "Teahouse" is set in what is often the focal point of a hutong community and brings together several characters from the old streets of Beijing to discuss the problems of traditional society.

A more modern love song for the hutongs is Zhang Yang's "Shower" (1999) about a traditional bath house where men from the community gather to drink tea, receive massages, fight crickets and escape their marital problems. The film laments the loss of such old ways of life as the hutongs are being knocked down to make way for modern blocks of flats.



Beijing Tour Routes Includes Beijing Hutong
BD-12. Half day Beijing Hutong BTA-7. Beijing Hutong tour
BH-1. Beijing 4 days tour BH-2. Beijing 5 days tour
BH-3. Beijing 6 days tour BH-4. Beijing 7 days tour
BK-2. 3 days Beijing tour BK-3. 4 days Beijing tour
BK-4. 5 days Beijing tour BK-5. 6 days Beijing tour
BK-6. 7 days Beijing tour BST-3. Beijing Hutong and Zoo bus tour
BX-3. Xingang Beijing 4 days tour BJXA-5. Beijing Xian 9 days tour
BJSH-1. 5 days Beijing Shanghai Tour BJSH-2. 6 days Beijing Shanghai Tour
BJSH-3. Beijing Shanghai Suzhou Tour (7 days) BJSH-4. Beijing Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Tour
BJLH-1. Beijing Lhasa Tour BJGL-1. Beijing Guilin Tour

Beijing Hutong Photo
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