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Over 200 seniors graduate from the "Museum Classroom for Senior Citizens"

Over 200 seniors, who had completed the course "Museum Classroom for Senior Citizens" organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council, today (January 22) received certificates at a graduation ceremony held at the museum.

Officiating at "Pursuing Truth and Health - The Graduation Ceremony of the Museum Classroom for Senior Citizens and the Community University for the Elderly" were the Permanent Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Paul Tang Kwok-wai, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow Tat-ming, the Chairman of the Elderly Commission, Dr Leong Che-hung, the President of the Lions Club of Happy Valley, Mr Charles Chan, the Chairman of the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council, Mr Yip Tak-on, the Star of Regimen of the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council, Mr Woo Fung, and film and TV artiste, Ms Miu Kin-fung.

Senior citizens are encouraged to engage in "lifelong learning" and a community-centred museum is an excellent venue to undertake such an endeavour. Senior citizens have always been one of the major visitor groups to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. To support the government's policy of promoting a sense of worth among senior citizens, the museum collaborated with the "Community University for the Elderly" of the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council for the first time in 2007 to organise the "Museum Classroom for Senior Citizens".

The 12-day course was held between May and September last year for more than 200 participants. The content of the course was based on the museum's four permanent exhibitions, namely, the History of the New Territories, Cantonese Opera and Songs, Ink Painting and Calligraphy, and Chinese Antiquities. The participants explored the exhibition topics in detail through guided tours and workshops. They could also earn credits by taking the course for their study programme at the "Community University for the Elderly".

During the "Recall the History of the New Territories" tour, memories of the past and the history of Hong Kong were aroused through viewing and studying exhibits, such as Hakka hats, head bands, public steelyards, a wedding palanquin, and scenes of walled villages and ancestral shrines, displayed in the exhibition hall.

"Singing in Harmony: Cantonese Opera and Songs" was the most popular subject. Participants studied in-depth the history and art of Cantonese opera and the collections of opera singers, as well as its presentation on the silver screen. Both the students and the tour guide enjoyed a review of the heyday of Cantonese opera in the 50s and 60s. They also shared their views on their favourite operas and songs.

Following instructions given by the tutor of the "Getting to Know Ink Painting" workshop of "Holding up the Brush: Ink Painting and Calligraphy", students copied traditional Chinese paintings of flowers, birds and insects, but with individual creativity and character.

In the last session "Appreciation: Chinese Antiquities", students through learning the basic skills of clay hand-kneading and moulding further enhanced their knowledge of Chinese art. Referring to the shapes of ancient Chinese cooking vessels, students created ornaments and small utensils with their own ideas and innovation.

Ends/Tuesday, January 22, 2008
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