Exhibition on customs of Chinese ethnic groups begins Summer Reading Month
Why are camel, steed, frog, silver pheasant, peacock, gourd and long drum have become some of the favourite mascots for ethnic groups in China? How to reach interesting homes like “pocket house”, “pile dwellings” in very remote areas when modern vehicles are not available? What are the legends, myths, heroes, customs and living styles of different ethnic groups?
With decorative images, the opening of the exhibition “The Family of Chinese Nation” today (July 18) launched the territory-wide annual popular large-scale library event -- “Summer Reading Month 2009” at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL).
“The Competition on Story Writing in Chinese for Students in 2009”, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Children’s Arts Society, also held a prize presentation ceremony today. This year, the competition was well-received with more than 1,800 entries.
Officiating at the two ceremonies were the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui Hiu-fai and the Vice-Chairlady of the Hong Kong Children’s Arts Society, Ms Chau Mat-mat. Ms Hui also shared with students one of the winning stories and the event was added with vivid story-telling or poetry recital performances by students.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the “Summer Reading Month 2009”, featuring the thematic exhibition and a variety of programmes from today to August 17, aims to broaden the knowledge and vision of children about the history, culture and ethnicity of China. The programmes will also enhance children’s appreciation of the rich and distinct social customs and cultures of different ethnic groups.
The variety of fun and educational free activities for family participation includes Peking and Kunqu opera, musical drama on legends of Chinese Ethnic Groups, accordion concert, instrumental music, Chinese folk dance and songs, AV programme express, magic shows, story-telling contest, talent show, parent-child handicrafts and reading talks.
China with its immerse land, is the homeland for 56 ethnic groups of diverse culture and customs. With interesting decorations, “The Family of Chinese Nation” exhibition at HKCL is designed with colourful display settings of the Miao, Dong, Mongolian, Uygur, Tibetan and Han groups to feature interesting information of different ethnic groups.
Many members of the Chinese nation are good at singing and dancing. The elegant Kazak swan dance, the primitive frog dance of the Zhuang nationality, the lively Sala camel dance or the charming melodious piping of the Tajik and colourful music are often related closely to the mascots of the respective ethnic groups. In the Miao “Pile-dwellings” exhibition area, there is a garden with animal, plant and utensil mascots. Every mascot tells a story of the unique character and custom of an ethnic group. Children will discover that steed, camel, peacock and gourd are the respective mascots of the Mongolian, Salar, Dai and Lahu people.
Some ethnic groups live in remote areas but they have a great passion for life and welcome their guests warmly. To learn about their spirit of life and hospitality, people should visit the “Blue Little House” exhibition area to learn about their utilisation of bottle gourd, cable, bamboo raft, “wooden horses” to travel to their dream houses - drum tower, bluish white blue house, pile dwellings or boat-shaped houses which they built from natural resources.
Visit the Mongolian “Yurt” exhibition area to learn about the stories of famous heroes, scientists, medical experts, educators, writers and artists of the ethnic groups. Children will find that regardless of the size of the population, history and development, efforts of different ethnic groups have contributed to build up the rich culture of China.
In ancient times, some ethnic groups such as the Hui, the Russian and the Jing resided in the border areas in China to evade war. Follow the historical map consisting of the scenic southwest China, languages and totems in the “Roofed-bridge” exhibition area, and visitors can explore the origins and meanings of the names of these ethnic tribes such as “Da Yuezhi”, “Tartar”, “Xian Bei”, “Ouigour”, “Turkic”, “Khitan” and “Yue”.
Families can also enjoy the variety shows and competitions at the “Central Stage” of the Exhibition Gallery.
Other highlights of the “Summer Reading Month 2009” are family activities and workshops. The Development Director of Family Heartware, Ms Shirley Loo, will share her experience at the “Paired Reading Talk: Character Development through Reading” for parents and children education workers from 2.30pm to 4pm on August 2. Chartered Educational Psychologist and Associate Fellow, Dr Raymond Tang, will speak on “Paired Reading Talk: Improving Children’s Creativity” from 2.30pm to 4pm on August 16. Both talks, conducted in Cantonese, will be held at the Lecture Theatre of the HKCL.
Workshops on Chinese handicrafts, origami, non-woven handicrafts, rock graphics, corrugated-paper arts and tie-dyeing handicraft will also be held in various public libraries.
Admission to all activities is free. For some programmes, admission tickets are required. Programme details and admission ticket information are in the booklet distributed at all public libraries. Enquiries can be made at 2921 2660 or 2921 2646, or visit the website: www.hkpl.gov.hk.
Ends/Saturday, July 18, 2009
Picture shows the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui Hiu-fai, shared with students one of the winning stories at the prize presentation ceremony of the "Competition on Story Writing in Chinese for Students in 2009" which was held today (July 18)
Presented by the Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the annual popular library programme "Summer Reading Month 2009", which will be held from today (July 18) to August 17, features an array of interesting activities and a thematic exhibition "The Family of Chinese Nation" held at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library. Picture shows (from left to right), Author Ms Ma Chui-lo, Vice-Chairlady of the Hong Kong Children's Arts Society, Ms Chau Mat-mat, Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui Hiu-fai and Assistant Director of LCSD (Libraries and Development), Mr Lee Yuk-man, to officiate at the launching ceremony today.
The thematic exhibition "The Family of Chinese Nation" runs from today (July 18) until August 17 at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library. Picture shows one of the scenic spots of the "Blue Little House".
The thematic exhibition "The Family of Chinese Nation" runs from today (July 18) until August 17 at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library. Picture shows one of the scenic spots of the Mongolian "Yurt".