Also known as the “Kwantung” (pronounced “sheng”) province, of China, the Guangdong Province is the southernmost province of the Chinese mainland. It is a province defined by its large coastlines and significant role as a main region of trade and commerce in Southern China.
Historically, the Guangdong Province has always had a unique place amongst other regions in China. Up until 997 CE, the Guangdong Province was ruled in conjunction with the Guanxi Province. Eventually, however, the Guangdong Province became its own separate province and developed its own unique cultural and even physical identity compared to the rest of China. The Guangdong Province has a unique topography — that of large coastlines, hills, rivers, and valleys.
As a result of this, the Province has been able to experience a unique population which as been exposed to self sufficiency and emigrants and foreign cultures. For the most part, the Guangdong Province is composed of the Han people (Chinese) as well as other minorities which only compose a small percentage. Some of these minorities include the Yao, Zhuang, She, and Shaoguan.
While the majority of the population in the Guangdong is rather homogenous, the result of so many minority cultures has played an effect in not only the cultural diversity, but the diversity of languages and dialects in the region. This concentration of unique languages and culture in this region also gave way for the transformation of the popular Cantonese style of food and cuisine which established itself in the Guangdong Province and neighboring provinces.