Centre of Urban History, Culture and Media

Story of the Month - June 2020

Story of the Month - June 2020

每月故事 -二零二零年六月

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譚少薇教授加入中大人類學系30載,認為學科提供的訓練十分寶貴,值得所有學生修讀。(圖:SoCUBE)

Prof Maria Tam has joined CUHK’s Department of Anthropology for three decades. She believes the training offered by the programme is precious and worthwhile for students of all disciplines. (Photo: SoCUBE)

 

「多元文化行動計劃」總監譚少薇教授最近接受中大社創的訪問,分享自己學習人類學的歷程,並如何受研究啟發創立知識轉移計劃「多元文化行動」。想了解她從ㄧ個香港學生到海上學府的學習,又怎樣從研究中國的現代化、轉而關注本地少數族裔的權利以下訪問

「香港人很喜歡去旅行,但其實世界就在香港,為何我們不去認識本地的多元文化?」人類學家大概都是專業的「講故佬」,正如《芭樂人類學》書中所言,跟他們聊天總是「妙趣橫生、別樹一格」,自言不怕死、愛到處闖蕩的譚少薇教授正是表表者。這場訪談,毫無悶場地進行了將近三小時,除了談及七年前開展的「多元文化行動計劃」,也分享她30多年前在蛇口做女工的「田野」歲月。

「渴望了解中國翻天覆地的轉變」

譚少薇(Maria)是香港中文大學未來城市研究所都市歷史、文化與傳媒研究中心副主任,及人類學兼任副教授,研究專長是族群關係和流動人口背後的社會文化意義。在香港土生土長的Maria之所以當上人類學者,可以說得上是「時代」的撮合。

「1978年文革結束之後,中國展開『改革開放』政策,並推行『四個現代化』(工業、農業、國防、科技),我對現代化好感興趣。」從她「肉緊」的語調,或會令人錯以為「現代化」是甚麼巨星。

在那個「認中關社」(認識中國, 關心社會)的年代,Maria剛進入香港大學修讀社會學,師兄師姐都是熱血愛國青年,十分關注一河之隔的大陸社會發展。她坦言當時深受他們的世界觀感染,「渴望了解中國為何會有這個翻天覆地的轉變。」不過在她正式踏入中國研究之前,她首先到世界闖蕩一番,在海上航行了三個月,將地球轉了一圈。

大學二年級,不時留意學校報告欄的Maria,發現一個由「船王」董浩雲成立的獎學金,從中大及港大各甄選一名學生,資助兩人參加一個名為“Semester at Sea”的課程。她把握機會申請並成功獲選,九月飛往美國三藩市登上「宇宙學府」號,與來自世界各地的青年人一邊遊歷一邊上課。

海上三個月的頓悟

「我們是真上堂的,課程由美國科羅拉多大學(University of Colorado)提供, 我選修了在香港沒機會上的課,如藝術史和女性研究;我們會在不同港口上岸進行深度遊,譬如去到埃及,藝術史的教授帶我們遊當地古廟。去了十多個地方,大開眼界,也經歷不少文化衝擊。」雖然已是40年前的經歷,Maria回想起來,仍不掩興奮。

「最大的文化衝擊是印尼皮影戲。它跟中國的完全不同,真是令人O晒嘴。我現在戴上口罩,所以你見不到我O緊嘴咋(笑)。它的藝術表達形式好厲害,有豐富深度的歷史,完全難以想像。我之前以為印尼是一個好落後的地方。」她說,這次「衝擊」讓她自此明白到,每個地方都有自己的發展、歷史源流,不應輕視,「我們要做的,就是認識和學習它。」

12月結束海上學府旅程回到香港之後,未正式開學,她便積極參與義工活動。「前不久正值油麻地艇戶爭取上樓,我做了一些支援,並開始思考為何水上人會來到香港?人在流動的時候會幹些甚麼?他們有甚麼動機,因應甚麼情況做甚麼抉擇?我對人口流動產生了興趣。」一個青年人類學「粉絲」就在這樣的背景下誕生。

「要多看notice board」

當時仍是港大社會學系生的Maria又去看「機會處處」的報告欄,「所以我現在不時跟同學生講,要多留意notice board。」這次她發掘到一個前往美國讀書的扶輪社國際交流獎學金,為期一年。她再次「中獎」,順利前往印第安納賓夕法尼亞大學(Indiana University of Pennsylvania)修讀人類學。

一年後,連帶之前修畢的學分,已足夠她取得這所美國大學頒出的人類學學位。「所以嚴格來說,我沒有在港大畢業。」對於青年時期的Maria,不尋常才是尋常。畢業後一直希望到中大人類學系唸研究生班(當時只有中大有人類學),惟未等到開班,最後她再申請「東西方中心」(East-West Center)獎學金,前往美國夏威夷大學馬諾阿分校(University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)攻讀人類學碩士和博士。

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Maria當年跟來自不同國家的「東西方中心」獎學金得主一起籌辦國際嘉年華,作為對檀香山社區的答謝。圖中她參與由夏威夷原住民編排、述說夏威夷群島歷史的Hula舞蹈。(圖:Maria提供)

Maria took part in an international carnival organised by East-West Center grantees, which was a token of gratitude to the Honolulu community’s hospitality. She joined a Hula dance choreographed by a native Hawaiian, an embodiment of the history of the Hawaiian islands. (Photo: Prof Maria Tam)

 

 成為奧巴馬母親的師妹

「(美國前總統)奧巴馬的媽媽都是夏威夷大學畢業的人類學家呢。」記者提起這個近期的小發現。「對呀,她(Ann Dunham)是我師姊,她專研印尼農村發展。(因此奧巴馬童年也曾經小住印尼數年)」Maria表示,在夏威夷和美國本土均分別生活過,充分感受當地即使一國之內,都存在巨大文化差異。

「美國有50個州,有高度自治。每個州幾乎都可以自成一國。我好慶幸自己在夏威夷讀書。當地是真正的多元,有好多好玩的文化。夏威夷亞裔人口超過三成,日本人以前來做種植園工人;華人也在甘蔗園和稻田工作,孫中山也曾在當地讀書,後來到當地為革命籌款。還有那裡是軍港,有好多士兵,不少是黑人,因為窮於是去當兵。」或許是「職業病」,每提起一個族群,Maria總不期然為其追源溯始。

夏威夷在她口中是真正的文化大熔爐,相反,她指曾經居住的美國中西部,人們的世界觀相當狹窄,「居留一年(1981)期間,我唯一在電視見過的國際新聞是(英國)查理斯王子和戴安娜王妃結婚的消息。」

航海遊學三個月,讓她體會窮國也有深厚精緻藝術;留美多年,讓她知道即使富裕如美國,視野不出國界的大有人在。「在夏威夷留學,收穫是多方面的。知識之外,是學習感恩、保持好奇心、欣賞多元,以及保有一顆關注公平、社會正義的心。」

她在夏威夷終於開始了最初令她着迷的中國現代化研究。

 

「她們想逃離農村,想要自由」

人類學看重田野調查,即要親身在研究地點生活及體驗一段時間,成為「三同(同食同住同勞動)」。1980年代,對於「四個現代化」念念不忘的Maria,選擇了中國第一個經濟特區試點──深圳蛇口工業區,作為研究對象。她在一所電子工廠做了一年女工,目擊在國家大政策下,個人如何受壓抑。

她憶起那個百廢待興、大興土木的80年代中國,「那時過了羅湖橋(只是一條木板橋)之後,滿頭大汗,周圍的人帶着大包小包,正回鄉接濟。我記得還要坐45分鐘小巴才到蛇口。當時「巴士」還是新稱呼,是模仿香港的叫法。車外經過的全部都是地盤。」

在塵土飛揚的環境中,她在一所高端電子工廠「掛單」,日幹12小時。Maria表示,身處同一流水線的百分之百都是年輕女性。她們許多一心逃離農村,尋求「自由和自主生活」。結果呢?

「她們每日的工作就在顯微鏡前,將一條電線穿過只有三分一指甲大小的電路板,繞四圈半,動作不可以慢,一慢就會『堆機』。雖然有工會,不過是in-house的,主要是每年派福利,以及檢查女工有沒有月經,因為驚你大肚。」她表示,是次田野研究經驗讓她深刻體會到,「向錢看的制度如何影響人」

「現代化是有代價的,At what cost?受最大剝削的往往是女性。」自此之後,性別與社會流動成為Maria學術生涯的重點議題,包括1990年代的港男北上「包二奶」現象、性別與醫生、律師等專業事業發展的關係。

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Maria近年積極推動本地跨文化教育。(圖:多元文化行動計劃Facebook專頁)

Maria is devoted to advocating intercultural education in recent years. (Photo: Multiculturalism in Action Facebook page)

 

目光轉移在地文化

回港後Maria加入中大,研究「版圖」雖逐漸擴至印度、尼泊爾、孟加拉等南亞國家,聚焦的卻是當下的香港。「我對香港社會的人口流動產生興趣,不斷去睇『四圍走』的人,他們有甚麼動機, 如何用自身能力改變環境……」研究過97移民潮之後,她將目光放在香港的少數族裔。

「香港是一個移民社會,印度人在19世紀、1842年已經跟隨英國人來香港,有士兵、警察,但都有一批做貿易的人。尼泊爾人就遲少少出現在香港,1948年英國人僱傭這批出名好打得、不怕死的尼泊爾人當兵(俗稱啹喀兵),專派他們守邊界及當時的越南難民營。」三言兩語,Maria勾畫了一頁香港百年史。

她指當初正經做研究,但眼見這班在香港住了幾代的族群仍然受到不公對待,社會仍存在偏見,她希望可以扭轉港人這種「仍然停留在19世紀的思維」。她認為單是寫論文,不足以改變現實,相信必須從日常生活開始,推動大家認識其他族群的文化,成為互相充權與改變的夥伴。

在2013年開始,Maria透過中大知識轉移項目基金(KPF),成立了多元文化行動計劃(MIA),冀從好玩的文化入手,鼓勵港人「暢遊香港」。至目前為止,她仍然是KPF計劃下,獲資助最多項目的學者。

「香港人熱愛旅行,想認識世界,但世界就在這裡,為何不利用這個機會?」這句從人類學者吐出的對白,儼如是疫情下,香港旅遊發展局催谷本地遊的口號。

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Maria鼓勵港人參與本地不同民族節慶,跟不同文化背景的人交朋友,助拓展視野。(圖:多元文化行動計劃Facebook專頁)

 Maria encourages Hongkongers to join in local ethnic festivals, make friends with people of different cultural backgrounds, and expand their horizons. (Photo: Multiculturalism in Action Facebook page)

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跟譚少薇教授(左二)一同推動香港跨文化教育的還有鄧偉文博士(左一)、碧樺依助理教授(右二)和人類學畢業生李穎彤(右一)(圖:SoCUBE)

 From left: Dr Wyman Tang, Prof Maria Tam, Prof Raees Begum Baig, and anthropology graduate Connie Lee, make up the MIA team in promoting interculturalism. (Photo: SoCUBE)

推廣足下好「風光」

MIA除了培訓華裔和南亞裔年輕人一起成為文化導師、舉辦文化活動,多年來還出版過三本書。「第一本書(《我們在慶祝甚麼?香港的多元文化節慶》)介紹18個不同族裔的節日,讀者可以跟着本書在香港去過節。」她特別難忘有一年跟尼泊爾人到金山郊野公園過新年。另外兩本書則是介紹食譜和手工藝,既學手藝,也聽背後活生生人的故事。

「這個尼泊爾女生好特別!」她送上一本《ICONIC 媽媽廚房:跨文化香港滋味》,揭到介紹尼泊爾哈爾瓦酥糖(Halwa)食譜那一頁,作者名叫「月亮官員」(ICONIC Mums計劃成員)。「這名稱是她身份證上的真實中文名,很有意思的。」

Maria解釋,女生的尼泊爾名字是Chandrakala Adhikary,當初入境處職員問其姓氏Adhikary是甚麼意思,當知道是代表「官員」(Official),於是照譯(意譯)不誤。「而Chandrakala是月亮,是當地常見的女生名字。」

她說,從姓氏可看出印度人和尼泊爾的種姓(Caste)制度裡的四個階級,跟結婚、工作密切相關,而且是世襲的。「官員」屬於第二高種姓;比第四層的還要低的是跌出種姓制度的「不能觸碰者」(Dalits / Untouchables),他們經常從事最髒的工作。書中30個作者,訴說30個故事。

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譚少薇教授合編的跨文化叢書,內有由30個女性譜寫的60個食譜和故事,展示了香港豐富的民族飲食文化,而fusion菜譜則看出文化融合的可能性。(圖:SoCUBE)

One of the intercultural books co-edited by Maria – a collection of 60 recipes and stories written by 30 women, illustrating Hong Kong’s rich ethnic food culture. The fusion recipes showcase the possibility of cultural integration. (Photo: SoCUBE)

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Maria亦在中大設立新亞跨文化學會(New Asia Intercultural Club),鼓勵學生成為世界公民。圖為學會舉辦的2019印度排燈節(Diwali)晚會。(圖:Maria提供)

Maria also set up the New Asia Intercultural Club at CUHK, encouraging students to become global citizens. The pic was shot at Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights) organised by the Club in 2019. (Photo: Prof Maria Tam)

「香港社會價值單一」

從事社會文化人類學研究數十載,談起以上種種「旅程」,Maria仍然十分雀躍,隔着口罩都感受到她骨子裡的探險精神。「是人類學訓練出來的,要解答社會文化問題,除了要找資料,還必須在地體驗、了解、面談,觀察,至少一年才可以取得(研究對象的)信任和全觀的資料。」

她寄語年輕人多到外面闖蕩。「美國年輕人慣常東西岸兩邊跑,但香港的不太願意走出去。這跟社會環境有關,香港社會價值、產業好單一,連父母都不想子女出去。不過我們人類學的學生不太一樣,畢業後好喜歡四圍去。一世人流流長,去一年兩年遊歷有何不可?」她直言,香港社會主流價值窒礙年輕人拓展視野和胸襟,「對社會一定不好。」

「要保持謙遜的心,明白世界好大。」是她給年輕人的忠告。

年輕時擁抱世界,在天主教學校成長的Maria表示,現在最享受的活動,反而是隨時步入聖堂,坐下安靜己心,在紛擾的世界獲得內心的寧靜,從而思考再出發。「小時候不太喜歡,但現在覺得聖堂是一個好舒服、歡迎你的地方,好有安全感。」

 

Prof. Siumi Maria Tam, Director, Multiculturalism in Action Project, was recently interviewed by SoCUBE of CUHK. In the interview she shared her path of learning anthropology and how she was inspired to found the knowledge-transfer project Multiculturalism in Action. Interested to see how Maria started as a student in Hong Kong to taking up the Semester at Sea Program, and how her research focus on China's modernization switched to the rights of local ethnic minorities? Please refer to the interview below:

“Hongkongers are travel maniacs, but the world is in Hong Kong, why wouldn’t we get acquainted with our diverse local cultures?” Anthropologists are master storytellers, as the book Guava Anthropology (《芭樂人類學》) puts it. Chatting with anthropologists is always a “thought-provoking and an out-of-the-ordinary” experience. Prof Maria Tam the fearless roamer fits neatly into the description. Our interview went on for almost three hours, tightly packed with exhilarating details of her long-running “Multiculturalism in Action Project”, as well as her fieldwork as a factory worker in Shekou three decades ago.

 

“I yearned to understand China’s earth-shaking transformations”

Maria is Associate Director of the Centre of Urban History, Culture and Media at CUHK’s Institute of Future Cities, as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology. Her expertise is in ethnic relations and the sociocultural significance of human movement. Safe to say that Maria, born and bred in Hong Kong, was matched up with the study of anthropology by her times.

“After the Cultural Revolution, the ‘reform and open policy’ began in 1978. I wanted so much to learn about the newly promulgated Four Modernisations Programme (industry, agriculture, defence, science and technology).” Hearing her fervent tone, you would have thought “modernisation” is a superstar of some sort.

In the era of “getting to know China and caring for society” (認中關社), Maria got into the University of Hong Kong (HKU) to study sociology. Her seniors were passionate patriots who kept close tabs on the social development on the mainland, and this made an important mark on her world view. “I grew keen on understanding the enormous transformations panning out in the country.” Before officially signing up for China studies, however, she sailed around the globe on a three-month voyage.

In her second year of undergraduate studies, Maria – who often paid attention to notice boards on campus – chanced upon an announcement on a scholarship set up by shipping tycoon Tung Hao Yun. One student each from CUHK and HKU would be sponsored to take the Semester at Sea programme. She seized the opportunity and won the scholarship, embarking the SS Universe at San Francisco that September with other young people from around the world to begin a unique learning experience.

 

Enlightenment at sea

 “We took proper lessons aboard the ship – the academic programme was offered by the University of Colorado. I chose topics that were not available back home, such as art history and women’s studies. We also got on land at over 10 ports for in-depth tours; in Egypt, for instance, the art history professor led us through ancient temples there. It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. I went through much culture shock too.” Maria could not hide her excitement when recounting these details, despite it being an experience from 40 years ago.

“The Indonesian shadow puppetry performance stunned me the most. It’s totally different from its Chinese counterpart, and left my jaw dangling. You couldn’t see my open jaw now because I have a mask on (lol). The artistic expression and the depth of history in it was just out of my imagination. Before this, I had always had the stereotypical view that Indonesia was backwards.” This experience shocked her into realising that every society has its origins and historical development which mustn’t be taken lightly. “What we should do is to understand and learn about them.”

Maria came back from her voyage in December and found time on her hands before school started again, so she occupied herself with volunteer work. “Not long ago the Yau Ma Tei boat people were fighting for their rights to public housing and needed support, which got me thinking – why did the boat people come to Hong Kong? What do people do when they move? What motivates them, and based upon what circumstances do they make decisions? I find population movement intriguing.” And this was how a young “fan” of anthropology came into being.

 

“Note the notice board!”

The then sociology student paid the notice board another visit, where opportunities abound, “I often remind my students to heed the board.” This time, she discovered a scholarship offered by Rotary International for a one-year exchange in the US. Hitting the jackpot again, she made her way to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and this time, to study anthropology.

Together with the credits she earned before, a year at Indiana already allowed her to receive a degree in anthropology. “So, technically I never graduated from HKU.” To this young woman, the abnormal is normal. While hoping to study for a graduate degree in anthropology at CUHK (which had the only anthropology department in Hong Kong), Maria found it could be a while before the programme could be established – so she applied for an East-West Center scholarship to pursue her master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

 

Sharing an alma mater with Obama’s mum

“(Former US President) Obama’s mother was also an anthropology graduate from the University of Hawaiʻi,” I mentioned my little discovery. “Oh yeah, she (Ann Dunham) was my senior. She studied the development of rural Indonesia. (This is why Obama lived in the country for a few years as a child.)” Having lived in both Hawaii and continental US, Maria had a flavour of the enormous cultural difference – be it within the same country.

“The US is comprised of 50 states, each highly autonomous. I consider myself fortunate to have studied in Hawaii – a genuinely diverse scene with loads of fun cultures. Over 30% of its population is Asian; the Japanese came for jobs at plantations, the Chinese worked in sugarcane and paddy fields. Sun Yat Sen studied there, later making it a base to raise funds for the revolution. It’s also a military port; many of the soldiers are black, joining the army out of poverty.” It could be her “occupational disease” – Maria automatically traces the roots of each ethnic group she mentions.

Sounds like Hawaii is the crucible of cultures. In stark contrast, the mid-west, where she has also resided, the locals’ view of the world was very confined. “Throughout my stay (in 1981), the only international news I’ve seen on TV was Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding.”

Her three-month voyage allowed her to see that impoverished countries could give birth to exquisite art. And years in the US made her realise that even in prosperous countries the horizons of many would not stretch beyond their national boundary. “My experience in Hawaii helped me learn in many ways – be knowledgeable and grateful, stay curious, appreciate diversity, and cultivate a sense of fairness and social justice.”

Finally, in Hawaii, her research work on China’s modernisation was about to begin.

 

“They wanted to leave the villages behind – they wanted freedom”

Anthropology emphasises fieldwork, meaning the researcher has to actually stay for a period of time at her site of research – eating, living, and working together with the locals. Having “the four modernisations” constantly in her mind, in the 1980s, Maria pinned down Shekou Industrial Zone, test site of Shenzhen, China’s first Special Economic Zone. Toiling for a year at an electronics factory, she witnessed the subjugation of individuals under grand national policies.

She recalled the China then – thousands of construction projects underway and building sites dotted the landscape, “I crossed the Lo Wu Bridge (a mere wooden bridge back then), sweat pouring down my forehead. Everyone was carrying bags of supplies for people in their hometowns. Then I had to take a 45-minute minibus ride to get to Shekou. Bashi itself was a new term, mimicking the Hong Kong terminology. The scenery outside the window the whole way was nothing but construction sites.”

Amidst the dusty environment, Maria found affiliation with a state-of-the art electronics factory where she plodded away for 12 hours a day. Her co-workers on the assembly line were entirely young women, determined to escape from their villages for “freedom and independent lives”. But was their dream realised?

“Every day they sat themselves in front of a microscope, threading a wire through a circuit board that’s only one-third the size of a fingernail, twist it for four rounds and a half, no delays – else the assembly line jams. There was a union…an in-house one though, the chief responsibilities of which were allocating benefits each year and checking if the girls were having their period, for fear that they would get pregnant.” Such field experience opened her eyes to “how a money-oriented system affects people”.

“Modernisation comes at a cost. At what cost? Too often women get the short end of the stick.” Since then Maria’s academic career has been steered by issues of gender and social mobility, including for instance the phenomenon of baau yih naaih (包二奶) – how Hong Kong men kept mainland mistresses in the 1990s, and the association between gender and career development in professions such as doctors and lawyers.

 

Coming home to local culture

Returning from the US, Maria joined CUHK, expanding her research areas to South Asian cultures including Indian, Nepali and Bangladeshi communities in Hong Kong. “Population movement in our society piqued my interest. I looked at those who ‘drift around’, their motives, how they change the environment with their own capabilities…” After delving into the 1997-related mass emigration, she diverted her gaze onto the city’s minority groups.

“Hong Kong is a migrant society. The Indians came with the British in 1842. They were soldiers, policemen, and traders. The Nepalis arrived later. In 1948, the Brits brought these fearsome warriors, the Gurkhas, to guard the borders and the Vietnamese refugee camps.” In a few sentences, Maria summarises a century in local history.

In the course of her research, she bore witness to the maltreatment and prejudices against these groups, despite having settled in Hong Kong for multiple generations. Such “mindset stuck in the 19th century”, she found, calls for rectifying. Seeing that writing academic papers falls short of the purpose, she set out to champion a better understanding of the cultures of different ethnic groups in daily life, through building partnership in mutual empowerment and change.

In as early as 2013, Maria inaugurated the Multiculturalism in Action Project (MIA) through CUHK’s Knowledge Transfer Project Fund (KPF), prompting Hongkongers to take a spin around fun local cultures. To date, she remains the practitioner being funded the most instances under the scheme.

“Hongkongers are crazy about travelling and long to know the world – when the world is already on our doorsteps, why not make the best of it?” This anthropologist’s comment could almost double as a call from the Tourism Board to explore our own backyard amid the epidemic.

 

Magnificent “scenery” a jump away

Aside from training Chinese and South Asian young people to be cultural trainers and organising cultural activities, MIA has also published three books over the years. “The first one What are We Celebrating: Multicultural Festivals in Hong Kong introduces 18 ethnic festivals, which serves as a readers’ guide to local festivities.” She has fond memories especially of spending the Nepali New Year with her Nepali friends in Kam Shan Country Park. The other two books are collections of ethnic recipes and crafts, so as readers sharpen their skills, they tune in to stories behind each living individual.

“This Nepali woman is special!” Maria offers us a copy of The ICONIC Mums Kitchen: Tastes of Intercultural Hong Kong, and flips open a recipe for halwa (a sweet dish). The author, a participant of MIA’s ICONIC Mums Programme, called herself jyut loeng gun jyun (literally “moon official”; 月亮官員). “This is the actual Chinese name on her identity card, interesting eh?”

Maria explains that the woman’s Nepalese name is Chandrakala Adhikary. When the officer at the Immigration Department asked what it should be in Chinese, she explained that her surname Adhikary meant official, and her given name Chandrakala means moon (a common female name in Nepal). And the officer translated it word for word.

Indian and Nepalese surnames give us a glimpse to the caste system in these societies, which comprises four divisions and determines marriage and work, and is inherited. “Official” belongs to the second-highest caste, whereas the bottommost group are the dalits – outliers of the system or the untouchables, who often take up the dirtiest jobs. 30 authors in total, telling 30 unique stories of their own.

 

“Values in our society are homogenous”

Reminiscing her many adventures throughout her years of engagement in sociocultural anthropology, Maria radiates a daredevil aura so strong that not even a mask could veil. “It’s my anthropology training. To examine sociocultural issues, besides background research, it is necessary to experience it first-hand, understand it in situ, and interview in person. It takes at least a year to win [research subjects’] trust and acquire comprehensive information.”

She urges the young to see more of the world. “Young people in America commonly travel between the East and West coasts, while those in Hong Kong are reluctant to leave their comfort zones. This has to do with the societal environment – Hong Kong’s social values and industries are overly homogeneous, and, parents are unwilling to let their children explore the world. Still, anthropology graduates are different; they love travelling around after graduation. Life is long enough to venture a year or two!” She puts it straight from the shoulder – that mainstream values are holding young people back from expanding their horizons and breadth of mind, “and that does the society no good.”

“Be humble; it’s a big world out there” is her heartfelt piece of advice to our young generation.

Embracing the world since her salad days, Maria, who grew up in a Catholic environment, has recently developed a liking for quiet moments in the church, away from the hustle and bustle she finds space to think and plan for the next step. “Didn’t like it when I was small, but now I find it a comfy place that welcomes you anytime. I find security there.”

Story of the Month - May 2020

Story of the Month - May 2020

每月故事 - 二零二零年五月 

   

http://www.iofc.cuhk.edu.hk/images/events/seminar-forum/posters/storyofthemonth_May2020.jpg

譚少薇教永岡美咲女士合照(︰陳凱欣)

Prof. Siumi Maria Tam took photo with Ms. Misaki Nagaoka (Photo credit: Connie Chan)

 

傳統手工藝象徵着人類的創造力、文化認同,以及世代之間和個人之間的情感聯系。每個文化都有傳統手工藝代代相傳,其中包涵着智慧和價值觀的傳遞,也是家族和族群歷史的載體。

 

 

Traditional handicrafts symbolize human creativity, cultural identity, as well as emotional attachment between generations and among individuals. Every culture has its traditional handicrafts passed down for generations, and their transmission of wisdom and values make them vessels of history of the family and ethnic groups.

 

 

本中心成員譚少薇教授,是「多元文化行動計劃」(MlA) 總監,致力推動大眾認識香港的文化多元性對社會的貢獻。她認為手工藝是不同族裔社群學習和體驗彼此文化的好方法。MIA新近出版的《跨文化香港學堂︰文化手作》一書,是跨文化教育另ㄧ個新嘗試,期望它成為學校、家庭和社區外展工作的應用工具,在更大層面作出多元文化知識的推廣。

 

 

Prof. Siumi Maria Tam, member of the Centre, is Director of Multicultualism in Action Project (MIA) which aims at enhancing public awareness of the contribution of cultural diversity to Hong Kong society. She believes that handicraft is a great way for people of different cultural backgrounds to gain firsthand experience in each other’s culture. The latest publication of MIA, "Intercultural Hong Kong Classroom: Cultural Arts & Crafts", is a new tool in intercultural education for outreach work in schools, families and communities, and to promote multicultural knowledge on a bigger level.

 

 

今天在疫情下,大眾都增加了留在家裏的時間。「多元文化行動計劃」舉辦ㄧ系列線上手工藝工作坊,以《文化手作》ㄧ書為基礎,邀請藝術家們介紹自己的文化和為觀眾示範手工藝的做法。第ㄧ次跨文化手工藝工作坊在2020年5月12日舉行,由永岡美咲女士介紹日本摺紙的歷史和現況,並示範了三款摺紙,分別是頭盔、僕人和褲子摺紙。參與者除學習日本摺紙的方法,也積極發問,使大家對日本文化有更深入了解,對摺紙産生的社會文化環境和它跟端午節、男孩節的關係有更多的認識。永岡女士還分享了自己年幼時摺紙對她的影響,和自己作為日本人在香港的體驗,使工作坊更添加了人的氣息。

 

 

In the pandemic today everyone are spending more time at home. MIA is organizing a series of online handicraft workshops based on the "Cultural Arts and Crafts" book. Artists are invited to introduce their own culture and demonstrate a handicraft for the audience. The first intercultural handicraft workshop was held on 12th May 2020. Ms. Misaki Nagaoka introduced the history and current development of Japanese origami. She also demonstrated three types of origami: yakko-san, hakama, and kabuto. Participants not only learnt the way of making origami, but also asked questions actively. Everyone developed a deeper understanding of Japanese culture, the social cultural environment in which origami developed, and the relations between origami and Tango no sekku Festival and Boys’ Day. As well, Ms. Nagaoka shared her experience of how origami influenced her childhood, and as a Japanese in Hong Kong. All these added a human touch to the workshop.

 

 

疫情還未完結,但無礙我們學習不同文化,和家人ㄧ起渡過有趣又有意義的時光。

 

 

The epidemic is not over yet, but it should not prevent us from learning different cultures and having fun and meaningful time with our family.

 

 

如果錯過了工作坊,可以瀏覽以下網址重溫︰

http://arts.cuhk.edu.hk/~ant//knowledge-transfer/multiculturalism-in-action/handicraft-workshop.html

 

 

If you missed the workshop, please visit the following website for review:

http://arts.cuhk.edu.hk/~ant//knowledge-transfer/multiculturalism-in-action/handicraft-workshop.html

 

 

「多元文化行動計劃」將會繼續舉辦工作坊,如有興趣參與,請到以下網址留意我們的最新資訊︰

https://www.facebook.com/MIACUHK/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

 

 

MIA will continue to organize workshops. If you would like to participate, please visit our website for the latest information:

https://www.facebook.com/MIACUHK/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

 

 

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Story of the Month - April 2020

Story of the Month - April 2020

每月故事 - 二零二零年四 

http://www.iofc.cuhk.edu.hk/images/events/seminar-forum/posters/Event_CUHCM_20191204.jpeg

 在曲奇上畫出曼陀羅圖案 (: 鄧偉文)

 

Students drawing mandala on the cookies (Photo credit: Tang Wai Man)

 

 

The Education Bureau of Hong Kong revised its Secondary Education Curriculum Guide in 2017 and updated its one of the seven learning goals for the students – “to become an informed and responsible citizen with a sense of national and global identity… and respect for pluralism in society”. Schools are encouraged to achieve this goal through values education and implement it by providing students with holistic learning experiences, namely integrating the elements of cognition, affection, and action.

 

 

香港教育局在2017年修訂了《中學教育課程指》,並更新了其針對學生的七個學習宗旨之一——“成為有識見、負責任的公民,認同國民身份,並具備世界視野……和尊重社會上的多元性”。教育局鼓勵學校通過價值觀教育實現這一目標,並向學生提供整全學習經驗,即合認知情感和實踐的要素實現這一目標。

 

 

In response to the updated learning goal of pluralism, many school teachers who are responsible for other learning experiences (OLE) and moral and civic education have looked into the topics of ethnic minorities (EM) in Hong Kong. However, when the guideline discusses the value of respect for others, it merely advises students to accept the fact that everyone is unique. Dr. Tang Wai Man, Department of Anthropology, who is interested in intercultural education, thinks that this approach is rather passive in understanding ethnic relations. It also fails to achieve the goal of integrative learning. Dr. Tang thus referred to his earlier experience in another intercultural project, Multiculturalism in Action, which emphasizes partnership, mutual empowerment, and sustainability in its model, to devise some new intercultural projects to work with the school teachers.

 

 

為了回應多元化學習目標的更新,許多負責其他學習經歷(OLE)以及德育及公民教育的教師都對香港少數族EM)的主題作出研究。但是,當討論尊重他人的價值時,它僅建議學生接納每個人都是獨特的事實。對跨文化教育感興趣的人類學系鄧偉文博士認為,這種方法在理解族群關係方面相當被動也無法實現合學習的目標。因此,博士引用他早前在另一個跨文化項目“多元文劃”中的經驗,該項目強調伙伴關係相互充權和可持續性,設計一些新的跨文化項目來與學校教師合作。

 

 

One of the projects is to make mandala cookies with students. Many ethnic minority (EM) women in Hong Kong have good cooking skills and are creative in cooking. Dr. Tang invited two of them to conduct an intercultural workshop for a group of secondary school students. They innovated some cookies with mandala patterns and multiple flavors, such as ginger and cinnamon, and added a short description to explain how these elements are symbolizing South Asian cultures. Furthermore, they prepared some plain cookies and different colors of icing pens for the students in the workshop to let them draw their mandala on the cookies.

 

 

其中一個項目是與學生製作曼陀羅曲奇。香港許多少數族婦女都有良好的烹飪技能,並且在烹飪方面很有創造力。鄧博士邀請其中兩位婦女為一群中學生舉辦一次跨文化。她們創了一些具有曼陀羅圖案和多種口味的餅乾,例如薑和肉桂,並簡短說明這些元素如何象徵著南亞文化。此外,他們為工作坊的學生準備了一些普通的曲奇和不同顏色的糖筆,讓他們在曲奇上畫出曼陀羅。

 

 

The workshop was held during the lunch hour, and it ran successfully. The students enjoyed the process of drawing mandala and were impressed by their EM teachers. One student said, “the cookies are too beautiful to eat… I hope that the teachers can come again…” And the EM teachers were also impressed by the students. One of the teachers said, “I didn’t expect that the boys would also be interested in drawing cookies… they were so focused…” In this one-hour program, the students acquired new cultural knowledge, actively participated in another culture, and socially engaged with people from another ethnic background. This aligns with the goal of integrative learning of cultural pluralism. However, it is challenging to sustain this kind of approach under the current education system since it only sets 10-15% of school time on OLE, and moral and civic education is only one of the five components in OLE. 

 

 

在午餐時間成功舉行。學生們很享受繪製曼陀羅的過程,並他們的少數族老師留下了深刻的印象。有同學說:曲奇太漂亮了,不得吃……我希望老師能再來一次……少數族老師也學生深刻的印象。其中一位老師說:我沒想到男孩子也會對畫曲奇感興趣……他們專注……在這個一小時的課程中,學生們獲得了新的文化知識,積極參與另一種文化,並與來自另一個族群背景的人們進行社交互動。這與合學習多元文化的目標相吻合。但是,在目前的教育體系下維持這種方法具相當挑戰,因為它只將10-15%的上課時間設置為OLE,而德育及公民教育只是OLE的五個組成部分之一。

 

 

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Story of the Month - March 2020

Story of the Month - March 2020

每月故事 - 二零二零年三 

http://www.iofc.cuhk.edu.hk/images/events/seminar-forum/posters/MIAbooth2.JPG

「多元文化行動計劃」於油尖旺多元文化活動中心舉行「香港的南亞裔社群」展覽(照片來源︰陳凱欣)

"Multiculturalism in Action Project"   holds   "South Asian Societies in Hong Kong" exhibition at  Yau Tsim Mong  Multicultural Activity Centre(Photo credit: Connie Chan)

 

「多元文化行動計劃」(MlA)致力推動香港的正向族群關係,以不同類型的活動接觸各階層的市民,提升文化敏感度和對不同族裔的了解和尊重。過去舉辦過的大型活動有屋邨嘉年華,為不同地區的街坊通過家庭和親子活動,接觸世界不同文化,寓教育於歡樂。我們亦重視多元文化教育的延續性,以跨代、跨界、跨族群的課程,推動香港人携手建立自己的多元文化社區,曾舉辦「跨文化大使計劃」、「ICONIC媽媽課程」、跨文化手工藝工作坊等等。這些活動不單讓不同族裔的參與者突破日常生活的文化界限,走到ㄧ起成為朋友和同路人,同時也是我們作為主辦者的良好學習機會,鞭策我們思考自己的不足,幫助我們以更貼切的方法向計劃的目標前行。

"Multiculturalism in Action Project" (MIA)   aims at enhancing positive ethnic relations in Hong Kong. We keep contact with citizens from different social backgrounds through various activities to increase cultural sensitivity and understanding about and respect for different ethnicities.  In the past,  MIA  organized large-scale activities such as carnivals in estates for neighborhoods to catch up with cultures around the world through family activities. These activities combine education with joy. At the same time, we value the continuity of multicultural education. We carry out cross-generation, cross-border, and cross-ethnic curriculum to encourage Hong Kongers to build our own multicultural society. We have organized "Intercultural Ambassador Program", "ICONIC Mums Program" and intercultural handicraft workshop. These activities not only break the cultural boundary of participants from different ethnic backgrounds but also a good learning opportunity for us to think about our limitations in order to improve our methods to fulfill our missions.

我們最近的活動就是一個好例子。新成立的油尖旺多元文化活動中心,為慶祝落成和開放設施,邀請我們在該中心舉辦「香港的南亞裔社群」展覽。展出內容涵蓋本地南亞裔社群如孟加拉、印度、尼泊爾、巴基斯坦和斯里蘭卡裔社區的在港歷史、現況、以及宗教及飲食文化等等。這次展覽的前期工作主要集中在現場環境、展覽時間、展覽內容和擺放方式等等,以適應新場地的需要。正如所有社區活動,面對的環境總是千變萬化的,前幾天的決定,下星期又可能要重新規劃。最後,在各方努力和合作之下,展覽在中心開幕禮前如期準備妥當,展覽亦吸引了不少市民和政府官員出席。展覽日期原定由201911月至20202月,但由於新冠肺炎疫症關係,展覽期將會延長。大家可以在疫症消退之後,前往參觀。

Our recent activity would be a good example.  The newly established  Yau Tsim Mong  Multicultural Activity Centre invites us to organize "South Asian Societies in Hong Kong".  Exhibition content includes local South Asian societies such as the history in Hong Kong, the current situation,   religion and food culture of  Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Srilanka groups. This exhibition requires preliminary work mainly about  on-site environment, exhibition period, exhibition content, and placement to adapt to the needs of the new venue.  Like other community activities, the environment is always changing, and the decisions made a few days ago may have to be re-planned next week. Finally, with the efforts and cooperation of all parties, the exhibition could be prepared before the opening ceremony. The exhibition  also attracts many citizens and government officials.   The exhibition was originally scheduled from November 2019 to February 2020. However,  the exhibition period will be extended because of the coronavirus. Everyone can visit after the epidemic subsides.

作為研究人員,我們期望研究能為社會作出貢獻。香港是所有居住在這裏的人的家。大家ㄧ起抗疫為公眾健康努力,也ㄧ起為改善社會文化環境努力;雖然過程有時迂迴,但深信通過知識的提高,結合行動,我們的家會變得更人性化、更宜居。

As researchers, we hope researches can contribute to society. Hong Kong is the home of all people living here. Everyone is fighting against the epidemic for public health, as well as for improving the social and cultural environment; although the process is sometimes circuitous, we believe that through the improvement of knowledge and action, our home will become more humane and more livable. Hong Kong is the home of all people living here. Everyone is fighting against the coronavirus for public health, as well as for improving the social and cultural environment. Although the process is sometimes circuitous, we believe that through the improvement of knowledge and action, our home will become more humane and more livable.

 

 

 

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Story of the Month - February 2020

Story of the Month - February 2020

每月故事 - 二零二零年二月

 

http://www.iofc.cuhk.edu.hk/images/events/seminar-forum/posters/storyofthemonth_Feb2020.jpg

 

在中國南部所見一幅生產陶瓷的壁畫(圖片來源:黃慧怡)

A mural painting of pottery making in South China (Photo credit: Sharon Wong Wai-yee)

 

人類學系黃慧怡教授一直對古代海上絲綢之路研究有濃厚興趣。在柬埔寨吳哥進行考古學研究期間,黃教授發現不少中國陶瓷會經過越南進口,因此她希望更了解越南與中國的海上陶瓷之路。

 

Prof. Sharon Wong Wai-yee, Department of Anthropology, has a strong interest in the ancient maritime silk road. When she was conducting archaeological research in Angkor, Cambodia, Prof. Wong found that Chinese ceramics in Angkor were imported through Vietnam. She decided to further study the maritime ceramic road between Vietnam and China.

 

黃教授以民族考古學的角度切入進行研究,嘗試復原古代人類的社會生活。2019年她到中國南部進行實地考察,收集有關製陶工藝的資料,考察當地考古遺址,調查有否中國遠銷東南亞的產品。另外,黃教授也曾到訪越南,考察當地博物館和考古遺址,並拍攝短片以記錄製陶工藝的過程,作日後參考之用。

 

Prof. Wong undergoes research from an ethno archaeological perspective to reconstruct the social life of ancient humans. She conducted field work in South China in 2019, which included collecting information on pottery craft, visiting local archeological sites, and investigated what Chinese products were exported to Southeast Asia. In addition, Prof. Wong visited museums and archeological sites in Vietnam, and made video records of the process of making ceramics.

 

 

不少研究者在研究時遇上大大小小的難題,黃教授也不例外。首先是參訪前的聯絡工作。到訪村落及合作單位,事前要有良好的溝通讓訪問工作可以順利進行。另外是語言隔閡。黃教授表示,由於她不會當地語言,擔心會影響訪問工作,幸而最終找到合適傳譯,解決了言語不通的問題。

 

Researchers often face various kinds of difficulties during field research, and Prof. Wong is no exception. First, communication before field work. Appropriate connections should be established prior to field work, so that visits to collaborating units and villages can proceed smoothly. Secondly the language barrier. As Prof. Wong did not speak the local languages, she was concerned that the interviews would be affected. Fortunately, she was finally able to identify suitable interpreters.

 

由於新型冠狀病毒疫情於全球肆虐,黃教授的研究計劃中部份工作需要延期進行,但她仍然希望能再到越南進行暑期實地考察,帶領中大學生與當地大學生進行學術交流。黃教授計劃明年舉辦相關展覽,向公眾展示研究及學術交流成果。

 

Because of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus globally, Prof. Wong’s research plan has been delayed. However, she is still hopeful in taking a group of CUHK students to Vietnam for a summer field trip with academic exchange with local university students. Prof. Wong also plans to organize a public exhibition next year to showcase her research findings and the academic exchange.

  

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Story of the Month - January 2020

Story of the Month - January 2020

每月故事 - 二零二零年一 

storyofthemonth Jan2020.jpg

 跨文學堂︰文手作》封面

"Intercultural   Hong Kong Classroom: Cultural Arts & Crafts" Cover

 

傳統手工藝象徵着人類的創造力、文化認同,以及世代之間和個人之間的情感關係。每個文化都有傳統手工藝代代相傳。多元文化活動計劃認為手工藝是不同文化背景的人們體驗彼此文化的好方法,並出版了跨文學堂︰文手作一書。

 

 

Traditional handicrafts symbolize human creativity, cultural identity, as well as emotional attachment between generations and among individuals. Every culture has its traditional handicrafts passed down for generations. Multiculturalism in Action Project (MIA) believes that handicraft is a great way for people of different cultural backgrounds to gain a firsthand experience in each other’s culture, and publishes "Intercultural Hong Kong Classroom: Cultural Arts & Crafts".

 

 

跨文學堂︰文手作一書由譚少薇授、李穎彤女士編著。譚少薇授研究興趣聚焦於社會文化變遷中的身份認同,尤其關注性別與族群關係、跨國流動與家庭移民,及飲食文化的流變。近年推行「多元文化行動計劃」,融合學術研究與社會倡議,探討南亞裔社群被少數化的結構性問題,以及華裔與南亞裔婦女的相互賦權作為社會資本。她相信日常生活中的性別平等與跨文化教育,是健康、可持續、安全的社會環境所不可或缺的。李穎彤女士是香港中文大學人類學學士跨文化研究碩士。自2015年起加入「多元文化行動計劃」與少數族裔社區合作經驗豐富大學時期對南亞文化產生濃厚興趣,2014到印度和尼泊爾進行社區服務。

 

 

"Intercultural Hong Kong Classroom: Cultural Arts & Crafts" is edited by Prof. Siumi Maria Tam and Ms. Connie Wing Tung Lee. Prof. Siumi Maria Tam's research interests focus on cultural identity in social transformation, especially in gender and ethnic relations, transnational mobility and family migration, and change in food culture. Her recent project “Multiculturalism in Action” combines academic research and social advocacy, examines structural issues in the mineralization of South Asian communities in Hong Kong, and the mutual empowerment of Chinese and South Asian women as social capital. She believes that gender equality and intercultural education in everyday life are essential for a healthy, sustainable, and safe social environment. Ms. Wing Tung Lee receives her bachelor of arts degree in Anthropology, and a master of arts degree in Intercultural Studies, at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She joined the Multicultural in Action Project in 2015, and has extensive experience working with different ethnic groups. She developed a strong interest in South Asian cultures during her undergraduate years and in 2014 conducted community service in India and Nepal. 

 


 

本書一共集結了20位不同族裔如委內瑞拉、孟加拉、泰國、菲律賓、俄羅斯、日本、韓國、土耳其、意大利、印度、中國、夏威夷等作者的分享,並分為代代相傳、滿滿祝福、文化認同及創作精神四個部分。每位作者都和我們分享一種手工藝及其背後的故事,展示了手工藝承載了文化遺產、身份認同、適應力和創造力。

 

 

This book is a joint effort of 20 contributors of different ethnic backgrounds such as Venezuela, Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Italy, India, China, and Hawaii. This book is also divided into 4 parts: Heritage and Me, Well Wishes, Cultural Identity, and Creative Spirit.  Each contributor shares a handicraft and the story behind it and show how craft is a vessel of heritage and identity, as well as of adaptation and creativity.

 

 

多元文化活動計劃致力提高香港的跨文化知識及正向族群關係,並推廣不同文化讓公眾認識,本書作者同樣對推廣文化有濃厚興趣,同時積極、樂意參與文化交流活動。比如和我們分享皮納塔的沃美娜女士,從十年前為慶祝孩子的生日做了一個皮納塔開始,便造了無數的皮納塔為派對增加氣氛,並和各位分享拉丁文化!

 

 

MIA aims at enhancing intercultural knowledge and positive ethnic relations in Hong Kong, and promoting different cultures to the public. Our contributors are also interested in promoting cultures and willing and active in participating in cultural exchange activities. For example, Ms. Omaira del Carmen, who shared piñata with us, has made countless piñatas to brighten up parties since she made a piñata to celebrate children's birthday 10 years ago, and shared Latin culture with everyone!

 

 

本書有賴各位作者和朋友慷慨貢獻了他們的時間和才能,社創基金贊助多元文化行動計劃出版經費,以及香港中文大學的人類學系、未來城市研究所的城市歷史、文化和媒體中心給予的支持。

 

 

We thank our contributors and friends who generously gave of their time and talent, the SIE Fund for sponsoring this publication as part of the Multiculturalism in Action Project, and the Anthropology Department, and Centre for Urban History, Culture and Media of the Institute of Future Cities, of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, for their support.

 

 

多元文化活動計劃希望透過此書,讀者能夠更深入地了解和欣賞香港不同文化,從而享受豐富的文化生活和愉悅感。同時提高人們跨文化敏感度,使個人和社會在認知、社交和情感層面受益。多元文化活動計劃將會舉辦和書本相關的跨文化工作坊,歡迎與學校和非政府組織等合作,一起倡導大學與社區之間的合作及正向族群關係。有興趣人士歡迎聯絡  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.陳小姐。

 

 

MIA hopes that readers will enjoy an enriched cultural life and a sense of happiness by having a more in-depth understanding and appreciation of different cultures in Hong Kong. We also believe that building intercultural sensibility will benefit individuals and society on cognitive, social, and affective levels. MIA will organize intercultural workshops related to this book, and welcome cooperation with schools and non-governmental organizations, to initiate cooperation between universities and communities, and enhance positive ethnic relations. Please contact with Ms. Chan via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if interested.

 

 

 

 

 

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Story of the Month - December 2019

Story of the Month - December 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年十二 

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2019年6月8日 美濃黃蝶祭在雙溪樹木園裡的音樂會,平安隆先生和樂手正在演奏雲遊的音樂 (圖片來源: 陳如珍)

Takashi Hirayasu and his band performing music from Cloud Wondering at the 2019 Meinung Yellow Butterfly Festival in Shuangsi Tropical Arboretum, Meinung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Photo Credit:Chen Ju-chen)

 

 

陳如珍博在有關菲傭的研究中,發現有許多外傭離家漂泊的動機是希望可以透過較高的收入,累積金錢,改善家人的生活,以能有更好的物質享受及更高的社會地位。但多數的人最終難以實現這個夢想。這些大家共有的對金錢與累積的信仰,常常讓陳博士感到困擾:畢竟不能所有的人都「變得(比他人)有錢」。如果大家的夢想都一樣,那麼是不是一定充滿挫敗?直至2014年,陳博士帶到台及花蓮考察時接觸到一群獨立音人,發他們即使完成一場讓大家回味無窮的演出,也可能沒有多少收入。很多時候,即使入不敷出仍會繼做音。這與這社會的主流價值大不相同,使得她對獨立音人的追起了興趣。

 

 

Dr. Chen Ju-chen learned from her research that most Filipinos went abroad to work with the hopes that the higher salary earned would help improve the life of their families. With better income they wish to provide their families with more material comfort and achieve higher social status. However, not everyone could have their dream come true. Dr. Chen found that there exists an obvious quandary: it is impossible for everyone to become richer and better than others. In this case, the collective aspiration for wealth and accumulation would only lead us to endless frustration. Is this avoidable? In 2014, Dr. Chen met some independent musicians when she took a group of undergraduate students from the department of anthropology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong to conduct their summer field trip in Hualian and Taitung. She was surprised that, even with successful performances, musicians often made little income or even went in debt. Even though performing could be a bad decision financially, these musicians seem to never lose their enthusiasm in putting together one show after another. Dr. Chen has been interested in why such musicians give accumulation a much lower priority.

 

 

陳博士從2014年底始試著與獨立音人交流。最初由不懂音、沒關的聯繫,陳博士花了很長的時間,慢慢地參加各種現場演奏、音樂節,和其他的小型活動。隨著認識的增長,陳博與獨立音樂圈人係漸深,透過每次現場演出認識的音樂人,節目主辦人,樂團經理,場地管理人員,音響與燈光師,攝影師,和其他的工作人員等,漸漸地對圈中人的追求有更多面向的了解。除了私下的來往,也透過在演唱會或音樂節上幫忙翻譯,販售商品,打雜,題詞等等不同的角色,以很典型的參與觀察的方式感同身受的去了獨立音樂圈人的生活

 

 

Dr. Chen started the project about independent music community in the end of 2014.. Without much experience and appropriate networks, Dr. Chen diligently attended various live performances, gigs, and music festivals to make herself known and recognized as a member of this community. As time passes, Dr. Chen fostered good rapports with key event personnel and deepened her understand of this community. She became friends with musicians, event producers, venue managers, sound designers, lighting designers, photographers, and other running crew. With their help, she has gradually has better understanding of how the community works. Besides, she developed a deeper understanding on the intention and lives of independent musicians through participate and work as translators, merchandise sales, prompters, etc. at these concerts and music festivals.

 

 

 

陳博而言,獨立音人指的是能決定自己的音樂創作,同時能透過音樂交流價值的音樂人。他們的作品和音樂演出不被商化,不由市場的操作來主導。未,陳博期望能清晰寫出這選擇背後的理念與養成。在思考對資本主義的批評的同時,也能學獨立音人的堅持和追求。

 

 

For Dr. Chen, independent musicians are those who have full control of their music works and could share values they believe in via music. They do not prioritize accommodating the demand of the market for their works and gigs. In the future, Dr. Chen would like to write up and explain the operation of the independent music community. Other than criticizing the intrinsic nature of capitalism, she wish that she could also carry out the ideal and aspiration of these musicians.

 

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Story of the Month - November 2019

Story of the Month - November 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年十一 

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圖片說明:開幕典禮中,譚教授與嘉賓和表演者(圖片來源:陳凱欣)

Photo Caption: Prof. Tam, guests and performers in the opening ceremony (Photo credit: Connie Chan)

 

 

本中心的「多元文化行動計劃」於2019 年10月19日在葵興石籬(一)邨舉辦「多元文化在石籬」嘉年華,作為推廣正向族群關係和跨文化主義的知識轉移項目。

 

本計劃總監譚少薇教授在開幕致詞中指出, 香港很幸運地擁有多個族群在這裏定居, 讓我們每天都能享受豐富的文化特色, 如飲食、服飾、音樂藝術等, 我們只要抱持開放的眼光和胸懷,人人都可以是世界公民。

 

隨着開幕典禮的花炮聲,開始了多元文化表演。我們很榮幸邀請到印度舞教師Jackie Law 女士、尼泊爾裔的Ashmi女士, 和斯里蘭卡佛教與文化中心為嘉年華作表演嘉賓。他們分別表演印度古典舞、尼泊爾民族舞和斯里蘭卡融合舞蹈。Jackie為大家演出Rukmini Pravesam,是典型Kuchipudi舞劇序幕中的人物角色的自我介紹 (Daruvus)。Kuchipudi是源自印度南部安得拉邦的傳統舞蹈,亦是印度八種主要古典舞蹈之一,以多變的戲劇化表情及節奏快的舞步見稱。Ashmi則表演“到加里農場” 一曲,頌讚尼泊爾多元文化的一面,因為這首歌是講述某人回到祖國並欣賞她所留下的文化遺産。斯里蘭卡佛教與文化中心的融合舞蹈,通過將傳統鼓樂與現代音樂結合,向世界展示傳統鄉村舞的新詮釋。除了舞蹈表演,SARDA 樂隊為是次嘉年華演唱了一首名叫"Mero Prem" 的尼泊爾流行曲。Mero Prem 中文解作「愛我」,述説對愛情的看法; 雖然觀眾不懂尼語,但都被抒情的旋律打動。

 

 

精彩的舞台表演後,觀衆參加各個攤位活動,了解在港的少數族裔的不同文化——香港卡巴迪聯盟介紹了南亞運動卡巴迪的玩法和讓參加者一嚐這個亞運項目的滋味; 委内瑞拉裔的沃美娜女士設置了「拉丁角」, 介紹南美文化特色,還和大家玩piñatas; 斯里蘭卡佛教與文化中心向參加者介紹當地的香料和樂器。「多元文化行動計劃」則為大家帶來香港的巴基斯坦社群展覧, 以及民族服裝試穿體驗。

 

 

「多元文化行動計劃」為社創基金支持的項目,如欲了解更多項目內容請瀏覽以下網址。本計劃歡迎機構與公眾合作共同打造香港的多元文化和推動正向族群關係。http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/~ant/knowledge-transfer/multiculturalism-in-action/index.html

 

 

The “Multicultural Carnival @ Shek Lei” was organized by Multiculturalism in Action Project in Shek Lei (1) Estate on 19 October 2019. This event in Kwai Hing was a knowledge-transfer program which aimed at promoting positive relationships among different ethnic groups and the concept of interculturalism.

 

In the opening speech, Project Director Prof. Siumi Maria Tam pointed out that Hong Kong is blessed with various ethnic groups living here, enabling our enjoyment of a rich multicultural environment, through different cuisines, clothing, music and art etc. Prof. Tam added that we can all be global citizens by opening our mind and arms.

 

 

After the opening ceremony everyone enjoyed the performances by Indian dance teacher Ms. Jackie Law, Ms. Ashmi from the local Nepali community, and the Sri Lanka Buddhist Cultural Centre. They performed Kuchipudi, Nepali dance, and Sri Lankan fusion dance respectively. Jackie presented a daruvu from “Rukmini Pravesam”, a typical Kuchipudi style opening dance that introduces a character. Ashmi performed “Gairi Khet Ko” which celebrates the multicultural aspect of Nepal as the song is about someone returning to the motherland and appreciating its heritage. The fusion dance performed by Sri Lanka Buddhist Cultural Centre is an experiment to fuse up-country dance (with traditional drum beats) and the rhythms of modern music. After the dances, SARDA Band performed a Nepalese song “Mero Prem” which means "Love Me". The audience was touched by the romantic melody even though they did not know Nepalese.

 

Visitors then participated in the activities at the game booths, which aimed at enhancing understanding of Hong Kong’s ethnic diversity. Kabaddi United Hong Kong introduced a South Asian sport Kabaddi, and offered hands-on sessions for the public. Ms. Omaira who came from Venezuela set up a “Latin Corner” to introduce the characteristics of South America and played piñatas with the children. The Sri Lanka Buddhist Cultural Centre introduced Sri Lankan spices and musical instruments. In addition, Multiculturalism in Action Project set up an exhibition about the Pakistan community in Hong Kong, and provided various ethnic costumes for interested individuals to have a try.

 

Multiculturalism in Action Project is a project with support from The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund. Please visit http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/~ant/knowledge-transfer/multiculturalism-in-action/index.htmlfor more details and contents of our project. Please contact us for potential collaboration to co-create an intercultural Hong Kong and to promote positive ethnic relations. 

 

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Story of the Month - October 2019

Story of the Month - October 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年十 

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:張教與一眾嘉賓及講者合照(:陳凱欣)

Photo Caption: Prof. Cheung takes a photo with guests and speakers (Photo credit: Connie Chan)

 

本中心主任張展鴻教授於9月19日舉辦了宋代香丸製作工作坊,讓大家體會製作香丸及了解香道。

 

 

工作坊一共分兩部分。第一部分邀請了來自日本的高澤太太及其兒子,為我們介紹及示範煉香,然後由觀眾親自體驗煉香。日本的煉香與宋代製香有異曲同工之妙。日本煉香從平安時代開始流行,由於佛教的影響,材料大部分都是從中國傳入。高澤太太把沉香、白檀、龍腦、丁字、甘松、安息香、薰陸、貝甲香、麝香和炭粉遂一加入碗中,之後逐少加入蜜糖壓實拌勻,然後揉成球狀並放置一年待熟。

 

第二部分由來自海南島的唐塘先生主持。唐塘先生首先講解香丸的歷史背景。香料早在宋代便有多種用法,包括醫療和煮食,並製成香珠和香膏作女士用品。唐塘先生同時介紹日本煉香與中國製香的不同。唐塘先生最後讓大家體驗製作香珠及香牌,使用的香料包括桂枝香、海南沉香等等。香料放在一起後加入水搓揉,直至不黏手便可用模具製成不同花紋的香珠和香牌。

 

 

是次工作坊約有30人參與,感謝各位踴躍參與,使是次活動成功進行。我們同時很榮幸高澤太太及其兒子和唐塘先生抽空為我們主持是次活動。

 

 

Our director, Prof. Cheung Chin-hung Sidney, had held a workshop about traditional incense of Song dynasty. Participants can enjoy making pomander and develop an understanding towards pomander making through the workshop.

 

 

Workshop had been divided into 2 parts. We had invited Ms. Takazawa Keiko and her son from Japan to introduce and demonstrate traditional incense for us, and then the participants could try to conduct the process. Traditional incense in Japan has been popular since heian period. Because of the influence of Buddhism, most materials come from China. Ms. Takazawa Keiko put aloes wood, sandalwood, borneol, clove, nader spikenar, benzoin, pistacia khinjuk, cuddy shell, musk and coal dust together. Then, honey was added and mix with the materials. After compaction and mixing, the spice was smashed into balls and should be placed for one year.

 

 

The second part was held by Mr. Tang. Mr. Tang first introduced the historical background of traditional incense. Spices have been used during Song dynasty for a variety of purposes, including medical, cooking and have been made into xiang zhu and xiang gao as women's products. Mr. Tang also introduced the differences between pomander making in Japan and China. Finally, Mr. Tang let participants to try making xiang zhu and xiang pai. Spices include gui zhi xiang and Hainan chen xiang were used. Water was added after spices were put together. We could make xiang zhu and xiang pai with different patterns by using different molds when spices were rubbed and weren’t sticky.

 

 

About 30 participants join the workshop. The workshop won’t be successful without active participation of participants. It is our pleasure to have Ms. Takazawa Keiko and her son and Mr. Tang being our guest speakers for this workshop.

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Story of the Month - September 2019

Story of the Month - September 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年 

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圖片來源:梁學彬  Photo Credit: Isaac Leung

 

 

公共性,屏幕文化和藝術介入

梁學彬  香港中文大學文化管理助理教授

 

想像一下,當你抬頭觀看現代高速發展的摩天大樓,建築外牆上光彩奪目的電子屏幕映入眼簾,令你驚嘆不止。與此同時,電車在人潮和車水馬龍的道路上穿梭而過,你身處其中,被五光十色的店舖、各式各樣的活動和駱驛不絕的上班族包圍著。行人迎面而來,穿上最時尚的流行服飾,爭相展現出亮眼的視覺風格。無論晴天雨天,人們遊走街頭,尋覓自己的靈感,盡情刻劃出狂熱都市生活中的永恆精神。電視屏幕提供無盡娛樂,進一步為漫無邊際的城市景觀添上戲劇色彩。有那麼一刻,你會以為自己生活在科幻電影的虛擬現實中。這就是香港,世界上最繁華的城市之一,文化大熔爐的縮影。跟其他大都會一樣,香港充滿活力的城市生活,並非只由街道或大廈等實質建築物構成,亦由這些建築的功能和非實質空間經驗所組成。當科技成為我們生活中不可或缺一部份,香港人慣常被以屏幕為本的媒體包圍:不管是智能手機地圖服務,還是越來越普及的擴增實境遊戲,人們透過屏幕跟城市連繫起來,而兩者之間關係越來越錯綜複雜。於是,漫遊者——現代都市經驗的原型,在今天數碼城市裡成為「手機遊者」——以移動定位與手機科技創造網絡體驗,散步於城市景觀中。屏幕,除了讓我們即使身處摩天大廈中仍能在彈指間漫遊世界,還能把香港都市景觀化身為一個舞台——超巨型屏幕構成交錯網絡與我們生活合而為一。發放著令人目炫神迷的廣告與流動影像,巨型屏幕突破了大廈外牆身份限制,成為傳遞訊息的媒介,在鋪天蓋地的資訊洪流中創造出現實。這些屏幕身處建築物、媒體科技以及新型態公民身份之間不斷變化的連接點,成為結合個人和集體經驗的「媒體建築」。

 

崇光藝術與文化項目與錄映太奇首個合作項目「人造風景」,以全球其中一個最具代表性的鬧市購物區銅鑼灣為中心呈現場域特定媒體藝術。在2019年三月,亞太區最大的LED戶外屏幕CIVISION放映了四件錄像藝術作品。在這個極度多元的市區裡,「人造風景」以創新藝術體驗,把銅鑼灣重新導向至不斷變化的城市體驗。卡娜《黑動》透過聲音演算生成,模擬自然中美學圖案,把銅鑼灣化身為一個神秘的未知宇宙,以獨特方式呈現水、岩石、空氣與雲的元素。施政《餘燼》把途人沉浸在一個人造「自然」景觀巨型迷宮裡,以想像平行時空引領他們遊走其中。陸明龍《Nøtel》探討巨型屏幕作為廣告媒介之首要功能,透過虛構奢華酒店廣告,《Nøtel》以「仿製品」之姿態,理所當然地詰問現實與真實。鄭智禮作品《O》以航拍科技,在高空捕捉崇光百貨前軒尼詩道行人過路處俯視圖,為行人創造一個正在被實時拍攝的錯覺,透過模擬形式在屏幕與城市散步者之間建立一段既遠且近的關係。

 

鑑於我對新媒體藝術項目製作及策劃的專業知識,實踐的研究傾向及方法,我把藝術家及策展人的專業身份結合於我的學術研究當中。「人造風景」促使我發展一個持續的研究計劃,旨在探討創意介入、屏幕媒體以及城市空間三者間的關系,並考察公共性如何透過公共屏幕放映內容的生產、消費及發佈得以體現。我將於2020年策劃另一公共屏幕放映項目,加深我對公共屏幕於不同文化語境下的解讀,為未來就香港及西方兩地的比對研究作重要的基礎。

 

Publicness, Screen Cultures and Artistic Intervention 

Imagine yourself looking up at hyper-modern skyscrapers, marveling at building facades punctuated with brilliantly-lit electronic claddings. As trams crisscross between the flow people and cars, you are surrounded by dazzling storefronts that are hybridized with hives of activity and the pounding beats composed of commuter movements. You have a close-up view of the people surrounding you - they are in their most fashionable garb, fighting to have the most visual presence. Be it rain or shine, they stroll along the sidewalk and find muses on the street, capturing the eternal spirit of the frenzied urban life. The multifarious landscape is further dramatized by sprawling televisual screens illuminated with endless entertainment. For a moment, you feel like you are living in a sci-fi movie characterized by a simulated reality. This is Hong Kong, one of the most bustling cities in the world and the epitome of a cultural melting pot.

 

 

Like many metropolis, Hong Kong’s dynamic city life is framed not only by material structures such as streets and buildings, but is also increasingly defined by a mixture of material functions and immaterial spatial experiences. As technology becomes inseparable from our lives, Hong Kong people are constantly encapsulated by screen-based media. From the use of mobile mapping services to the popularity of AR mobile games, people are intricately connected with the city through screens. As such, flâneur, an archetype of the modern urban experience, is now re-envisioned by digital-citizens as “phoneur” — from walkers strolling through the cityscape to a networked experience through location-based and mobile technologies. Apart from the screens in our hands while navigating between mile high skyscrapers, Hong Kong’s urban landscape is envisaged as a stage from which over-dimensional screens have becomea matrix of networks fused with our everyday life. Dazzling displays of advertisement and moving images mean that building facades are no longer fixated with a single identity. It is, in itself, a medium for sending messages, sheathed with mass of information, producing reality itself in a relentless flux. These screens have emerged from the shifting nexus between architecture, media technologies, and new forms of citizenry —a hybrid “mediatecture” for personal and collective experiences.

 

 

Artificial Landscape, a debut collaboration between Sogo Department Store and Videotage, was a site-specific media art project located in Causeway bay, one of the most iconic shopping districts in the world. During March of 2019, four video works were presented on CVision, Asia Pacific’s largest LED outdoor screen. In this hyper-diverse neighborhood, Artificial Landscape reorients Causeway Bay into a perpetually contingent city experience through artistic innovation. By adopting a noise-generation algorithm that simulates aesthetic patterns found in nature, Carla Chan’s Black Move transforms Causeway Bay to a mysterious unknown universe with peculiar representations of water, rock, air and clouds. Shi Zheng’s Embers immerses passerby with a massive labyrinth of man-made “natural” landscapes, guiding them through a paralleled imaginative time and space. Lawrence Lek’s Nøtel plays with the idea that the primary function of gigantic screens is advertising. By creating an advertisement for a fictional luxury hotel, Nøtel becomes a simulacrum, calling into question reality and truth in its own right. Howard Cheng’s uses drone technologies to capture an aerial view of pedestrians crossing Hennessy Road in front of the Sogo. His work, O, creates illusions for pedestrians as they are being recorded in real time, simultaneously establishing a sense of distance and belonging between the screen and city dwellers.

 

 

I have combined my professional expertise in new media art production and curation with my practice-based approach to scholarly research. Artificial Landscape has inspired me to develop an on-going research project aimed at investigating the relationship between creative intervention, screen media, and urban space, how the notion of public space is being negotiated through the production, consumption and distribution of content on public screens, and the power dynamics within screen-based media in urban settings. In 2020, I will curate another public screen project, which will enhance my understanding of public screens in varying cultural contexts and will serve as an important basis for future comparative studies between Hong Kong and the West.

 

 

Isaac Leung. An Unprecedented Change of Urban Landscape . An Unprecedented Change of Urban LandscapeVideotage and Sogo, 2018.

 

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