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A fun Chinese cultural tour at Little Dragon Town in HK Central Library

How could a traditional Chinese building be erected without using a single nail? Who was the sage of tea? What were the trendy accessories in ancient times? Little dragon family will gather at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL) from Saturday (July 21) to August 20 to take children through a discovery journey in the Little Dragon Town.  

A major highlight of the "Summer Reading Month 2007" organised by the Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the fun-filled thematic exhibition "Little Dragon Town – A Chinese Cultural Tour" is designed as an ancient town in China with interactive activities for children to learn about the cultural traditions of Chinese characters, cuisine, costume, architecture, arts and inventions.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, the annual popular Summer Reading Month to promote reading among children will use a variety of programmes to focus on the different facets of Chinese culture.

It features an array of interesting and enriching activities including puppet show, mask changing art, magic show, Chinese opera, lion dance, origami, audio- visual programmes, reading talks, workshops and contests at various public libraries from July 21 to August 26.

With colourful decorations and interesting games, the "Little Dragon Town – A Chinese Cultural Tour" exhibition is divided into nine different zones of "Market", "Fabric Store", "Tea Shop", "Surname Palace", "Chinese Chess Plan", "Cave", "Traditional Chinese Study", "Pavilion" and "Main Stage" for children to probe the rich Chinese culture in a relaxing environment.

Children can find a variety of familiar items in the "Market" and "Fabric Store". From the four great inventions of ancient China to appetising Tofu, make-up powder, wooden thongs, straw hat, chopsticks, soy sauce, noodles, decorative hairpins, clasps..... objects that may seem mundane but in fact are full of rich Chinese cultural heritage in everyday living.

Apart from the innumerable familiar objects, many legendary figures including the military strategist, sage of tea, eminent calligrapher, literary master, forefather of medicine and the first emperor from Chinese history are all gathered inside the "Tea Shop", inviting children to sip a cup of tea alongside those historical tales.

After enjoying the vintage tea, visitors can navigate through the river of history to "Surname Palace" to find out the origin of the popular Chinese family names.

To take a break from the tour, there are series of family variety shows with distinctive Chinese cultural elements at the "Main Stage". In another corner, the interactive treasure-trove in the "Pavilion", which is set in landscaped grounds constructed in traditional style, will show audio-visual programmes on gunpowder, earthquake, compass, astronomy, ceramics and architecture.

The "Chinese Chess Plan" awaits interested players to challenge their skills in commanding generals and soldiers, to see if they can solve the three famous endgames in the history of Chinese chess. Also, a mound of ancient Chinese characters from 3,000 years ago is hidden inside the "Cave".

Not to be missed is the "Traditional Chinese Study" built in the distinctive Chinese architectural style of a quadrangle residence. Reading books and sharing with others will be a pleasurable experience in a hot summer day.

Other highlights of "Summer Reading Month" are "Contest on Dramatisation of Chinese Stories for Family" and "Talent Show Contest on Chinese Culture" to be held in the Exhibition Gallery in HKCL to stimulate reading interest among children through showing their talents and knowledge in Chinese culture and adaptation of folk tales.

Other programmes include "Fun with the Percussion Music", "Puppet Show", "Chinese Dance Performance", "Mask Changing Arts of Sichuan" and "Disney Reading Together".

In addition, Auntie Choi, a professional story-teller, will give a talk entitled "Reading Talk: Warm Family Built in Paired Reading" for parents and teachers from 3.30pm to 5pm on Saturday (July 21). Ms Ho How-sim, author on children’s literature, will share her experience in writing in the "Meet-the-Author Session" on August 18 from 2pm to 3.30pm. Both talks, conducted in Cantonese, will be held at the Lecture Theatre of HKCL.

Admission is free for all activities. 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 2646, or visit the website: .

Ends/Wednesday, July 18, 2007
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