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First intangible cultural heritage inventory of Hong Kong announced today

     The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (June 17) announced the first inventory of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of Hong Kong, which includes 480 items.
     According to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2003, the ICH is manifested in five domains comprising (a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the ICH; (b) performing arts; (c) social practices, rituals and festive events; (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and (e) traditional craftsmanship. The 480 inventory items covered in these five domains include oral legends of lineages, Cantonese opera, jiao festivals, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Yu Lan Festival, fire dragon dances, traditional Chinese medicine and the technique for making a guqin.
     A spokesman for the LCSD said the department had commissioned the South China Research Center (SCRC) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in August 2009 to conduct a territory-wide survey of the ICH of Hong Kong, with a view to collecting research data for compilation in the first ICH inventory of Hong Kong. After more than three years of studies, the survey was completed in mid-2013.

     The survey team conducted extensive research and field work on around 800 survey cases. Taking into account the survey findings, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ICHAC), which includes local academics, experts and community personalities, recommended a draft ICH inventory of 477 items for the Government¡¦s consideration.

     A four-month public consultation on the draft ICH inventory was undertaken by the LCSD between July and November 2013. During the public consultation period, in addition to suggestions from 18 District Councils and the Heung Yee Kuk, the Government also received a number of written submissions from members of the public and various organisations. After considering all views received the ICHAC finally recommended a Hong Kong ICH inventory with the number of items increased to 480, which was accepted by the Government.

     The spokesman added that based on the findings of the territory-wide survey and the first inventory of the ICH, as well as in consultation with the ICHAC, the Government will devise and implement a host of enhanced safeguarding measures which will include establishing a mechanism for updating the list of items regularly and for receiving public proposals.

     The first ICH inventory in Hong Kong is now available on the website of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Ends/Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 09:00


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