Nanning, known as Yongzhou in ancient time, is a frontier city with a long history and profound cultural accumulation. It is populated by predominating Zhuang minority and other 35 nationalities, such as the Han, Miao, and Yao nationalities, etc. with a total population of 6.6616 million. People from different ethnic groups get along with each other in peace and harmony in the city, having colorful national features and styles as well as ethnic festivals and diverse activities, such as throwing embroidered ball, dragon boat race, board-shoe dance, snatching the firework, and stepping on a windmill, etc. Nanning is a city of songs, people from home and abroad getting together to enjoy singing and dancing on the annual Nanning International Folk Song & Art Festival, a grand folk art exchange event.
Nanning is known as the hometown of red bean (jequirity bean). It is no uncommon to see red bean dropping like rain and people picking them up in the urban roads or courtyards, reminding people of the famous poem written by Wang Wei, the outstanding poet of Tang Dynasty: In the south the red berry tree grows, How many twigs sprout as Spring flows? I wish you pick as many as you could, Most express my yearning they would.
Nanning is also known as Green City, Phoenix City, or Wuxiang City (Five-elephant city). Rich in tourism resources, it connects Guilin city to the north and Beihai city to the south, making up a golden tourism belt in Guangxi. It attracts numerous visitors with magnificent frontier scenery, romantic beach style, charming exotic atmosphere, scattered beautiful mountains and rivers, remote historic sites, etc.
In Nanning, Nanning-style Cantonese (one of the Cantonese dialects) is in common use among urban people, Pinghua (one of Chinese dialects) partly in use in suburbs and Zhuang language (divided into Yongnan dialect in the south area and Yongbei dialect in the north area) in use among Zhuang people. The most prevalent language used in the whole city of Nanning is Nanning-style Cantonese and mandarin mixed with some elements of Cantonese. In general, people of all nationalities (all ethnic groups) can speak Mandarin.
Nanning has 115 Culture and Art Museums (Stations), 9 professional arts groups which give 252 performances yearly, with about 100,000 person-times of audiences. In Hengxian County, non material cultural heritage bases have been established in four schools to protect and inherit excellent traditional culture, such as Guangdong opera and Yong opera.