The Hui (short for Anhui) culture is rich and profound. It’s one of China’s three regional cultures, particularly Tibetology, which is the study of Dunhuag and study of Anhui. It covers fields including philosophy, classics, history, medicine, science and arts.
In the past, Huizhou has long been crowned as a place where brilliant government officials and excellent businessmen stood out regardless of its unfavorable location and limited land. When incessant wars came in the central plain, it became a place where militarists and strategists showcased their abilities. It’s both an ideal place to stay away from wars in troubled times and a blessed land for fostering talent. Thus, talents of all conceivable kinds stood out in history. For instance, Bi Sheng created typography, Zhu Xi who developed Neo-Confucianism in the Song Dynasty, Xu Guo who was a senior stateman of three rulers in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and a minister of defense in the Qing Dynasty, salt dealer Bao Shufang who was as rich as a country, famous dramatist Wang Dao Kun, medical scientist Wang Ang, excellent ink-stone maker Li Yan, Jian Jiang who established Xin’an School of Painting, philosopher Dai Zhen, financier Wang Maoyin (the first Chinese referred in On Capital by Karl Marx), modern educationalist and scholar Tao Xingzhi, Hushi, engineer Zhen Tianyou, Zheng Fuguang, secretary-general of Sun Yat-sen government and finally, the modern calligrapher Xu Qian from Huizhou.
Meanwhile, the flourishing Hui business culture gave rise to artistic schools like Xin’an New-Confucianism, Xin’an medical science, Xin’an painting school, Hui-style bonsai, Hui ink-stone, Hui architecture style, Hui carving style, Hui sculpting style, Hui drama and Hui cuisine with local characteristics.
Today, the old bridges, pagodas, pavilions, temples and memorial arches are scattered across Huangshan similar to a large natural museum.