Know your neighbourhood

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 December, 2006, 12:00am

An online platform to protect local cultures from the threat posed by globalisation has been launched.

Daytauchung (www. has been set up by Hong Kong-born architect and designer Gene Miao, who witnessed the demise of many old establishments after returning from the United States a few years ago.

The website's name is the transliteration of the colloquial Cantonese term for 'neighbourhood worm' - referring to a person who knows every nook and cranny of his or her hometown.

'Daytauchung is for local people who are interested in rediscovering their neighbourhood,' said Miao, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. 'When I came back from the US, I realised many places I used to go to when I was a kid had been torn down to make way for new developments.

'Markets and family-run street stores were replaced by shopping malls. Our local heritage and culture are slowly disappearing due to globalisation.'

The English-language website welcomes contributions from registered users - they can post their favourites in different categories, such as restaurants, places to chill out, as well as local customs and etiquettes.

Places featured on the site include Kung Wo beancurd shop in Sham Shui Po, Tak Yu Chinese tea house in Yau Ma Tei and Denmark Bakery in Causeway Bay. There are also entries from the US, Japan and France.

'Daytauchung respects and embraces the uniqueness of a place,' said Miao.

'Globalisation forces people around the globe to experience the same things and to eat the same fast food.

'The website facilitates exchange of ideas and information on local features and establishments in different countries.'