Shantou has well-established cultural tradition and rich cultural heritage. It had such a reputation as the "Coastal Zou Lu" (Zou Lu refers to the Kingdom of Zou and the Kingdom of Lu, the hometowns of Mencius and Confucious respectively) as early as in the Song Dynasty.
Where there is seawater there are Chaoshanese, and where there are Chaoshanese there definitely is Chaoshan culture. Chaoshan culture has a long history. It was originated from Chaoshan predecessors, formed in the Qin and Han Dynasties, developed in the Tang and Song Dynasties, prosperous in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and innovated in the modern age. It is a branch of traditional Chinese cultures, compatible with both Chinese and foreign cultures. Chaoshan culture has its own features such as Chaoshan dialect, Chaozhou opera, Chaozhou music, Chaozhou cuisine, Gongfu tea, Chaoshan arts and crafts, and Chaoshan folk custom.
Chaoshan culture features rich content and unique style. It has profoundly nurtured the people on the land of Chaoshan in the past and present. The characteristics and influences of Chaoshan culture are demonstrated by Shantounese in their philosophies, verbal expressions and behaviors.
Source: Shantou Almanac 2008, Shantou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, Press and Publication