The South China Research Center of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has been commissioned by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to conduct the “Territory-wide Survey of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Hong Kong”.

According to the 2003 “Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage”, the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is manifested in the following domains:

  • Oral traditions and expressions (e.g. Wai Tau/Se dialect, Zuk Zi poetry, Hoklo dialect, Hakka dialect and fishermen’s dialect)
  • Performing arts (e.g. Naamjam, Taoist music, Baak Fu (White Tiger) ritual, fishermen’s ballads, unicorn dance and puppetry)
  • Social practices, rituals and festive events (e.g. Praying Mantis Boxing, Dim Dang (lantern-lighting) ritual, Jyu Laan Festival, Beat the Petty Person ritual, Tin Hau Festival, Pun Coi and Jiao festivals)
  • Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe (e.g. traditional Chinese medicine production, Dit Daa (bone-setting), knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine, Gwai Ling Gou (turtle essence jelly), wine-infusing, fishermen’s knowledge about the universe and the nature)
  • Traditional craftsmanship (e.g. bamboo steamer making, dried fruit production, dragon and phoenix woodcarving, dyeing, fishing skills, cured meat production, seal cutting and rattan-woven objects)

The Center’s researchers have studied the existing publications, written records, videos and archives about intangible cultural heritage of Hong Kong which are available in the libraries of the local universities, public libraries, museums and the articles contained in academic journals.  This desktop research is essential for systematically launching the Survey and helps the Center to compile the initial list of existing items of intangible cultural heritage in the local community.  Meanwhile, our researchers have also started to collect information of the listed events and items, using the research methodology of participation observation.  We will also conduct qualitative researches such as interviews and observations and take visual recordings of the processes of the events.  People who are identified as being familiar with the listed events and items will be arranged an interview for providing the oral history, which will certainly help us to gain an insight into the history and the content of the event or the item and its transmitter’s experience.   

During the Survey, we will endeavour to include as many items and events of the local intangible cultural heritage as possible.  We welcome the community and individuals to report any events and items which they consider are of significant value. Please report by filling in Form 1 (Form for Reporting Items/Events of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong) or/and Form 2 (Timetable for Periodic Traditional Events of Hong Kong) and send it/them back to South China Research Center, HKUST by e-mail, mail or in person.

All applicants will receive an acknowledgement certificate from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department on completion of the Territory-wide Survey.

Report before: 30 September 2011