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  • When I was having dinner in a restaurant with my alumni, to my surprise, a wonderful show------Suzhou Pingtan was arranged. Suzhou Pingtan is kind of ancient culture, and only a few local people are learning it. I enjoyed a lot of Pingtan show with my grandfather during my childhood. Usually the actors and actresses are middle-aged, because it is hard to learn. But you see, the actor and actress invited by the restaurant were astonishingly young and pretty.

    Suzhou Pingtan(Suzhou is a city name. Ping means telling and discussing stories. Tan means playing music.) is known for its story telling, joke cracking, music playing and aria singing. It is performed solo, in duet or as a trio, and involves singing and storytelling. The small three-stringed plucked instrument and Pipa (lute) are used as accompaniments. The Ban, or wooden clappers, produces various styles of tone and melody.

    In the late years of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the early years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), actors and actresses began to perform in the Suzhou dialect, from this Suzhou Pingtan emerged. Suzhou Pingtan reached its peak during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1739-1796) during the Qing Dynasty.

    The inheriting and innovation of our traditional culture is very important. I hope more and more young people wil be willing to enjoy and learn it.
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