INFO · Search
· Chinese version · Subscribe

The Young Reporter

Culture & Leisure

[Video] Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance as a Mid-Autumn blessing for peace

By ShanShan Kao   Fire and smoke mix with festival atmosphere through the backstreets of Tai Hang, locals dancing a "fire dragon" accompanied with firecrackers and drum beats. It all started from a tale around 100 years ago in a Hakka fisherman village, Tai Hang, where a mysterious python brought a plague into the village. To ward off the disease, villagers made a huge dragon with straw and covered it with lit incense sticks and danced for three days and nights on the evening of the 14th, 15th and 16th of the eighth lunar month. The ritual keeps until today with a whopping 300 performers, 72,000 incense sticks and a 67-metre dragon, with its head alone weighs 48kg. Mr Vicky Wong, the dragon head leader said the most difficult part is that the fire dragon head is heavy. "You have to pass it to another person after holding it for a while." He said. "We do this to inherit and pass on the cultural heritage of China. I've been dancing the fire dragon fot many years." He added. This tradition has become part of China's official intangible cultural heritage since 2009.  

Culture & Leisure

[Video] Chinese Ghost Festival for Traditional Chiu Chow Community

By Sharon Tang   People celebrate Halloween, the Western "ghost festival", by putting up costumes and be a part of the crowd. Funny as it is, the Chinese ghost festival is treated with more restraints as some may see it as a taboo and wish not to talk about ghosts. This year's Yulan Festival of the Chiu Chow Community was held in Tai Kok Tsui, from Aug 23-25. Tracing back to 46 years ago, the Chiu Chow people has already started the "Yulan Festival". In the festival, descendants burn joss sticks to worship gods, burn paper money to their ancestors. Lots people, regardless their origins, also burn paper money for "street ghosts". This is to show their respects to the ghosts so that they could keep themselves safe. More interesting is, there is a special Chinese opera performance as a way to entertain the "ghosts". According to the Chinese tradition and the Lunar calendar, July is the month when the "ghost door" opens, which means the ghosts are allowed to come out to the human grounds. Never should you think this event is dark and depressing. In fact, it is meaningful and joyful where different Chiu Chow families gather and chat about their lives. It is also a significant symbol showing how united the Chiu Chow people are. "Standing in the shoes of us Chiu Chow people, we unite in such a event," said Mr Lum Wing-fat, a member of the Yulan Festival of the Chiu Chow Community Committee. "Sometimes we meet each other in the neighbourhood and forgot their names, or even do not know them." "But when all of us gather here, we get along and work together closely." He said. In the old days when lives were poor and people had few to eat, the Yulan Festival has …

Culture & Leisure

Hong Kong Tied Football World Cup Qualifiers Against China and It Means More Than Sports

  By Harry Ng   Hong Kong football fans rejoiced as China held to a goalless draw amid racism row on September 3 when China also hosted a military parade. Hong Kong stunned China by producing two goal-line clearances in a match which China produced 41 attempts, hitting the woodwork four times at Bao'an Stadium in Shenzhen just across the border. Hong Kong fans, who booed the national anthem in the previous two World Cup qualifiers, behaved in the away game. On the same day, China also held a military parade in its capital Beijing, showcasing its military might. Mr Tommy Deng Hanyu, a student from Shandong currently studying at Hong Kong Baptist University, said the parade was the real highlight of the day. "The military parade is a symbol of national pride. It shows to the world that China has become one of the strongest powers,'' he said. He said anti-mainland sentiments may have highlighted the match. However, Hong Kong fan Mr Anthony Liu Chap-yin thought the football match between Hong Kong and China was far more important than the parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of defeat of Japan. "Hong Kongers support the Hong Kong team,'' he said. "The match is between Hong Kong and China. On the other hand, the parade is all about China showcasing its military strength.'' The China Football Association earlier warned mainland fans "not to underestimate the black-skinned, yellow-skinned, and white-skinned players" in the Hong Kong team in a poster that triggered racism row. In the match, Hong Kong's starting line up included the following naturalised players: Festus Baise, Godfred Karikari, Jack Sealy, Jaimes McKee and two mainland-born Chinese players. Ivan Tsang Hin-lok, 19, who represented Shatin district football team in the 5th Hong Kong Games, said it was a common practice to use naturalised …

[Video] Old Landscape, New Business Model

  • 2015-09-04

  By Arisa Lai   GoodPoint, a four-storey heritage complex, is a lifestyle hub newly opened on February 12, 2015 after its revitalization. Operated by four social enterprises and community organizations, it is located in prime area of Flower Market in Prince Edward. "With a French architecture design, GoodPoint is defined as a grade II historic building and it is managed by Hong Kong Council of Community Service (HKCSS) under the Heritage Preservation and Revitalization Scheme." said Ms Tuet, HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre (HSBC SEBC) manager of HKCSS. Four operators, namely "Zen in Five Seasons", "WECONS", "Running Horse Lantern Limited", and "ELCHK Essence Hub", each occupied one floor from the ground to the third respectively in order to satisfying different social needs, Ms Tuet said. "Something special about social enterprises is that not only do they make business, but also promote a social value concept," said Ms Alison Yuen, HSBC SEBC Programme Executive of HKCSS. "Like we also organize public visiting tours [to bring people in]." "The best thing is that this heritage building is open to public, instead of being turned to a private property." Ms Yuen added. Some of the fascinating elements include the Art Deco in this building, which emphasizes simple lines, detailed carving and repetitive patterns as well as the ventilated ceiling. On the first floor WECONS collaborated nine communities to promote the idea of healthy living, with the aim of preservation and inheritance, according to Fair Circle Project Officer Mr Ernest Wong, the representative of the proprietors. "We hope this is not only a spot for selling goods but also a platform for people to engage in our concepts, like socioeconomic justice." Mr Wong added. In the renovating stage damage or modification to the building are avoided, Mr Wong mentioned. No nail was drilled into …

Culture & Leisure

More than skin-deep

For some, tattoos are a sign of rebellion or simply just a fashion piece. But a growing number of people regard them as art, a secret language shared by a self-chosen community   Chinese convention has long associated tattoos with gangsters, violating the societal virtue of preserving our bodies out of respect to our parents. But in Hong Kong, tattoos are being redefined as works of art as the city explodes with tattoo shops whose clientele are increasingly young Hong Kongers. "It is a culture of a long history and a medium of expression," said Mr Vince Yue Chun-kit, a tattoo artist and founder of The Company Tattoo, a tattoo parlour. People are more accepting of tattoos as more celebrities publicly show them off, he said. "David Beckham had a Chinese calligraphy tattoo done in Hong Kong, and it certainly has a huge effect on public impression towards tattooing," Mr Yue said. "Local artist Louis Cheung Kai- chung ... showed his tattoo on television. People still love him, don't they?" said Mr James Lau Chi-long, another tattooist at The Company Tattoo. "The young generation is no longer wary of it." Ms Mindy Mak Ching-yi, a 21-year- old frequent traveler, gets herself inked every time she travels. None of her friends criticize her tattoos, but she said the older generation may feel otherwise. "My parents do not know about my tattoos. I think they will be mad if they find out about it," she said. The first tattoo convention in Hong Kong was held in 2013, where artists from different countries showcased their work and made tattoos on the spot for interested visitors. The tattoos were evaluated by judges of the convention and the best artist was awarded. Co-organizer of the International Hong Kong Tattoo Convention Mr Jay Foss Cole said in …

Culture & Leisure

Miniature books

In a bookstore, the smell of coffee filled the air, a Japanese Gashapon is standing at the corner unexpectedly. Gashapon is a vending machine-dispensed capsule toy, but this one is a little bit different. Once you put in a coin and turn the crank, what is expecting you is not a toy, but a transparent circle capsule with a miniature books sized 45mm.

Culture & Leisure

A GPS Treasure Hunt

With your smartphone, geocaching brings you beautiful nature, treasures and fun

Culture & Leisure

Artists let the pictures speak for the past

With just a click, photographers can freeze a moment of history. But before 1960, that moment was probably in black-and-white. Colour film didn't become the norm until the 60s and 70s when prices came down and amateurs could afford it. But with today's technology, colourising pictures can be done with a few clicks on a computer and those frozen black-and-white moments gain new life. Mr Victor Liu Ka-chung, a university student who is passionate about colourising Hong Kong historical black-and- white photos, says "colour brings new life and perspective to the photos." By adding colours to the images, Mr Liu rediscovers Hong Kong's yesteryears. He hopes his work will draw public attention to protecting historical elements in the city. Ms Tiffany Chan chooses to preserve historical moments by drawing. The idea is simple: to record faces and the human stories behind them. With paper and pencils, the illustrator sketches major historical events in Hong Kong, such as the Umbrella Movement. The free-of-charge service takes 10 minutes to produce a portrait. While having their portraits painted, people tell their personal stories to Ms Chan. Unlike photography, drawing doesn't freeze the moment. It gives time to let the stories flow, she says. "A 70-year-old lady told me that she has been staying overnight for the pro- test," Ms Chan said. The personal sto- ries move the pencil as they touches her heart, she said. The artist seals emotions, stories, expressions and people in the im- ages on the papers. However, spending 10 minutes to record one person in history is impractical, says Mr Ryan Chan, a photographer. He spends his time capturing complex ideas and emotions with the speed of light on film. "Photographing with film allows me to think," Mr Chan said. With limited frames, he has to spend time observing the …

The Young Reporter Vol. 47

  • 2014-10-01

Culture & Leisure

Caged to be freed

The practice of freeing captive animals might kill more animals and harm the environment