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Hu Nan

 

 

 

Hunan (Chinese: 湖南; pinyin: About this sound Húnán) is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the south-central part of the country to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting (hence the name Hunan, which means "south of the lake"). Hunan is sometimes called and officially abbreviated as "湘" (pinyin: Xiāng) for short, after the Xiang River which runs through the province.

 

Hunan borders Hubei in the north, Jiangxi to the east, Guangdong to the southeast, Guangxi to the southwest, Guizhou to the west, and Chongqing to the northwest. The capital is Changsha.

 

 

Geography

 

Hunan is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River, about half way along its length, situated between 108° 47'-114° 16' east longitude and 24° 37'-30° 08' north latitude. It covers an area of 211,800 square kilometres (81,800 sq mi), making it the 10th largest provincial-level division. The east, south and west sides of the province are surrounded by mountains and hills, such as the Wuling Mountains to the northwest, the Xuefeng Mountains to the west, the Nanling Mountains to the south, and the Luoxiao Mountains to the east. The mountains and hills occupy more than 80% of the area and plains comprises less than 20% of the whole province.

 

The Xiang, the Zi, the Yuan and the Lishui Rivers converge on the Yangtze River at Lake Dongting in the north of Hunan. The center and northern parts are somewhat low and a U-shaped basin, open in the north and with Lake Dongting as its center. Most of Hunan lies in the basins of four major tributaries of the Yangtze River.

 

Lake Dongting is the largest lake in the province and the second largest freshwater lake of China. Due to the reclamation of land for agriculture, Lake Dongting has been subdivided into many smaller lakes, though there is now a trend to reverse some of the reclamation, which had damaged wetland habitats surrounding the lake.

 

Hunan's climate is subtropical, and, under the Köppen climate classification, is classified as being humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa), with short, cool, damp winters, very hot and humid summers, and plenty of rainfall. January temperatures average 3 to 8 °C (37 to 46 °F) while July temperatures average around 27 to 30 °C (81 to 86 °F). Average annual precipitation is 1,200 to 1,700 millimetres (47 to 67 in).

 

 

Culture

 

Xiang is a subdivision of Chinese Dialects that originates from Hunan.

 

Hunan cuisine is noted for its use of chili peppers.

 

Nü shu is a writing system that was used exclusively among women in Jiangyong County.

 

Hunan's culture industry generated 87 billion yuan (US$11.76 billion) in economic value in 2007,[20] a major contributor to the province's economic growth. The industry accounts for 7.5 percent of the region's GDP - 0.9 percentage points higher than the previous year.

 

In recent years, Hunan's cultural exports to the rest of China have been making a big impact. For instance, the Super Girl contest − a Chinese version of Pop Idol − was a significant and ground-breaking achievement for Chinese television. It included live broadcast, voting by mobile phones, and featured quirky and atypical characters. In 2005, the gross profit for the competition was 17.79 million yuan (US$ 2.48 million). Another television export has been the television cartoon series Blue Cat. As a result of these programs, Golden Eagle Broadcasting System's Hunan satellite television channel has become the most-watched regionally-produced channel in China, with over 5.6 million viewers. According to Golden Eagle, its programming also airs in the US, Japan, and Europe.

 

 

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