Intangible Cultural Heritage database

Share

Text by Caterina Sbrana.

Foreword:
We begin a multimedia journey that will lead us through some databases that contain extraordinary documents related to intangible cultural heritage.
We will first see how the South China Research Center of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology operated. In the next article we will go to Europe  referring  to the Patrimoine vivant de la France before returning to the East, in Tibet.

When we talk about cultural heritage we generally think of monuments or collections of objects; more rarely we pay attention to the fact that oral traditions transmitted by our ancestors, including language, rites and feasts and many others, constitute a great intangible cultural heritage whose preservation is indispensable to foster intercultural dialogue, in mutual respect for different ways of living and cultural diversity. For the purpose of collecting this intangible heritage, in 1989 UNESCO presented the first Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore, followed in 2001 by the Universal Declaration on Cultural diversity, until the adoption, in 2003, of the Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible Cultural Heritage. As stated in the foreword of the Convention, the invaluable role of the intangible cultural heritage is being a factor in bringing humans closer together, ensuring exchange and understanding among them, with the aim to ensure respect for the intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups and individuals concerned. foto hong kong_3In 2009 the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong decided to start the collection of oral testimonies to create an archive of intangible cultural heritage. The Department assigned the research work to the South China Research Center of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology that finished the first inventory in 2013.The web site is very interactive and search can be done both for Rilevancy, Title, Popularity, either by Publishing date, Publishing year, from oldest or newest. foto hong kong_2Among the collections we have: Digital collection, e-book, Old H.K. newspapers, Exhibition; Hong Kong intangible Cultural Heritage database. Who is interested in the study on the history of Hong Kong, district development, social life as well as the local heritage preservation in Hong Kong can explore the Digital collection, focusing first on the Photo section that allows you to have an idea of the huge and fast economic development of the metropolis. It contains 13975 old photos of Hong Kong dating back to the mid-19th century, with themes on historic buildings, street scenes, social customs and traditions, festivals and people’s livelihood.

foto hong kong_4This picture is from 1865 and represents a view of Hong Kong from Scandal Point; the Government House is at the center of the photograph. We find a single photo of the goverment House constructed in 1855 as a Colonial Renaissance style and put next to it the modern photo, which shows not only the architectural changes made to it during japanese occupation, but the development of the city occurred since the 1950s.

foto hong kong_5
 
 
Aerial view taken on June 8, 2017 shows the scenery in Hong Kong, south China. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai).

 

 

Going into the oral history material we find social practices, rituals, performing arts, culture of traditional Chinese medicine and we are warned that it is extracted from people’s memories, which inevitably become blurred or distorted in the course of time; sometimes the memories are hazy because of the different state of mind, of the different health conditions as well as the environmental ones.
The White Tiger Festival is placed among the social practices, while fishing techniques in traditional crafts. There are then legends, puzzles, expressions.
The database contains 480 items for public access that are available in Chinese version with a abstracts in English for ethnic Minorities groups items.

foto hong kong_6We believe that the intangible cultural heritage must be compliant with international human rights instruments, as well as with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and of sustainable development.

 

https://mmis.hkpl.gov.hk/ich?from_menu=Y&dummy=
 

Leave a Reply


Related Articles

FILE – Electronic Language International Festival
Text by Caterina Sbrana. When art, aesthetic expression, animation, music, sound effects and sonority meet technology, through a deep artistic research, we are witnessing an incredible reinterpretation of reality. FILE is a non-profit brazilian cultural organization established in the city of São Paulo that has been promoting exhibitions, workshops and gatherings that seek to investigate the appropriations of the technologic media in artistic accomplishments. Founded in the year 2000 by Ricard...
The Siberian Expedition during First World War
Text by Caterina Sbrana. I propose a very interesting history page that you can explore through the vision of 2,200 images available online in the Siberian Expedition Digital Archive. Created by Canadian historian Benjamin Isitt and the University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre, the website about the Canada’s Siberian Expedition is based on a participatory approach, integrating learning resources, an online journal and Digital Archive. As explained in the web-pages of the Ar...
Tibetan Opera, the most popular traditional opera of minority ethnic groups in China
Text by Caterina Sbrana. Let's continue our research on intangible cultural heritage to learn about the most popular traditional opera of minority ethnic groups in China, the Tibetan Opera, nowdays accessible online at  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/china-watch/culture/traditional-tibetan-opera/, or at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201909/03/WS5d6ddb68a310cf3e35569695_4.html. The contribution of digital technology to the discovery and research on intangible heritage is becoming increasingly i...
Patrimoine vivant de la France
Text by Caterina Sbrana. In our virtual tour across the intangible cultural heritage, after the story of the experience of  South China Research Center of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, we get to discover  the Patrimoine Culturel Immatériel of France promoted by a number of partners such as the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the French, Belgian and German-speaking Commissions for UNESCO, the France Télévisions and various local partners. The project collected 1...