Story of the Month - January 2018

Story of the Month - January 2018 

每月故事 - 二零一八年一月

We have often heard that Hong Kong is a city where “East meets West”. But is Hong Kong solely composed of Eastern and Western characteristics? Ever wondered what are the ethnic communities that have settled in Hong Kong since the 19th century? Do Hongkongers have enough intercultural sensibility to appreciate the diverse cultures in their city?  

我們經常聽到香港被形容為一個東西文化交匯的城市。但是,香港文化真的只由東西方兩種元素組成嗎?你有沒有想過:自十九世紀便在香港扎根的包括甚麼族群?香港人的跨文化敏感度足以讓大家懂得去欣賞這個城市的多元文化嗎?

Centre Director and anthropologist Prof. Siumi Maria Tam’s recent research is on intercultural education and the intersection of academic research and advocacy. Her research reveals that the lack of positive intercultural experiences in daily lives has created myths and misunderstandings towards the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, leading to cultural ignorance and social marginalization. She believes that cultural diversity should be an asset for Hong Kong as a metropolitan city, and discrimination could be eradicated with the increase of cross-cultural knowledge and positive interethnic relations. Prof. Tam started the Multiculturalism in Action Project (MIA) and has organized a series of intercultural education programs with an emphasis on South Asian cultures.  

本中心主任及人類學家譚少薇教授的新近研究關注跨文化教育,以及學術研究及倡議之間如何相輔相成。她的研究發現:由於日常生活缺乏正面的跨文化體驗,大眾對香港的少數族裔產生不少迷思和誤解,導致文化誤解和社會邊緣化。她認為香港的多元文化環境應被視為這個大都市的重要資產,而歧視則可以透過提升跨文化知識和正面的族群關係化解。譚教授在2013年開展多元文化行動計劃 (MIA),至今舉辦了一系列以南亞文化為主的跨文化教育項目。

Between 2013 and 2016, MIA carried out a series of workshops on Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi cultures to enhance the mutual understanding between local Chinese and South Asian communities. In 2017, a documentary “Intercultural Hong Kong Series: Feeling South Asian” was produced, showcasing the cultural practices such as religious rituals of the South Asian communities in Hong Kong, and explaining the importance of intercultural education. In summer 2017, an interethnic program entitled ICONIC Mums Program was launched. A group of 30 Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Nepali, and Pakistani mums gained intercultural experiences and developed interethnic friendships through a series of self-exploration and self-expression workshops. Afterwards they applied their newly acquired worldviews and skills in designing and organizing community projects which brought social innovation to their neighborhoods. These projects show that individuals are all agents and partners of change irrespective of ethnicity.

20132016年間,MIA舉辦了一系列關於印度、尼泊爾、巴基斯坦、斯里蘭卡及孟加拉文化的工作坊,旨在提升本地華裔和南亞裔社區之間的了解。在2017年製作了紀錄片《跨文化香港系列:南亞心。情》探討香港南亞裔社群的文化習俗(如宗教儀式),並解釋跨文化教育的重要性。再者,MIA2017年暑假舉辦了一個跨族群的ICONIC媽媽課程。三十名華裔、菲律賓裔、印度裔、尼泊爾裔和巴基斯坦裔媽媽透過一系列自我發現和表達的工作坊,獲得跨文化體驗和建立跨族群友誼。其後,她們利用新獲得的視野和技能,設計並實行社區項目,為社區帶注入創新力量。這些項目充分體現每個人,不分族裔,都可以成為社會改變夥伴。

To further promote hands-on participation in different ethnic cultures, Prof. Tam and Centre post-doc fellow Dr. Wai-man Tang jointly edited the book What are Celebrating? Multicultural Festivals in Hong Kong (December 2017, Wheatear). It is the first bilingual book introducing 18 ethnic festivals in Hong Kong.  Examples include Teej of the Nepali community, Luciadagen of the Swedish community, and Songkran of the Thai community. These festivals show how different ethnic communities have contributed to Hong Kong’s multicultural landscape, and how they maintain their cultural values and social identity in daily life.

為了進一步推廣大眾參與及體驗不同族裔的文化,譚教授和本中心博士後研究員鄧偉文博士合編了《我們在慶祝甚麼?香港的多元文化節慶》(201712月,麥穗出版)。這是第一本以中英雙語介紹香港十八個族群節慶的書籍,例如尼泊爾裔社區的緹姐節、瑞典裔社區的聖露西亞節和泰國裔社區的潑水節。這些節慶展示不同族群如何為這個城市增添多元文化色彩,也反映他們在日常生活中如何保存文化價值和身份認同。

Indeed, Hong Kong society needs more intercultural dialogues and experiences. Prof. Tam believes that intercultural education should be part of the formal education system, while simultaneously the larger society should develop cultural curiosity and opportunities of ethnic interaction on a daily level. Interculturality is the basis to the creation of soft power, which in the long run will form the core content of a future smart city.

香港社會確實需要更多跨文化對話和體驗。譚教授認為跨文化教育應該納入正規教育制度,同時社會上應該培養大眾對不同文化的好奇心,並增加族群之間日常接觸的機會。跨文化元素是提升軟實力的基礎,長遠來說,這亦會是未來智慧城市的核心元素。

 

 StoryOfTheMonth CUHCM JAN

Photo of Ritual dance in Durga Puja, a West Bengali festival celebrated in Hong Kong
西孟加拉邦節日杜爾加女神節的祀舞蹈 

 

[Click here to view all  Stories of the Month]

[按此瀏覽其他每月故事]