The traditional arts are a precious gift

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 June, 2009, 12:00am

In recent years, Chinese traditional arts have been dying, with a lack of artists, audiences and venues for shows.

Chinese arts, such as music, painting and calligraphy, are in decline, and people are forgetting the thoughts of previous generations. By taking the time to appreciate them, we can learn more about our motherland, our culture and our ancestors. As Chinese people, it is essential for us to know more about these things, which define who we are.

Hong Kong was a British colony for 156 years. That's why modern Hongkongers do not fully identify with our nation. We do not know much about our motherland, and some of us might even be unwilling to acknowledge the fact that we are Chinese.

The government's bid to rescue Chinese traditional arts with subsidies is just a temporary solution. More needs to be done to raise awareness that we are Chinese and our culture is valuable.

Debbie Shue, Leung Shek Chee College

From the Editor

Thanks for your letter, Debbie. One's culture and heritage are always important. They are an anchor in life and can help to achieve a sense of identity and connection with our kin.

Right now on the mainland there is a row brewing over the Silk Road city of Kashgar, which is being modernised. There will be 'reproductions' of the old city to preserve its culture and architecture, but they will still be modern buildings.

The government says this change is necessary because if an earthquake was to strike the city it would be a complete disaster. The inhabitants want to preserve their society and their way of life.

These relics need to be preserved simply because they are different. They are what holds one place apart from another. If the entire world was made up of cookie-cutter designs, dances, costumes and food, life would be extremely boring and national identities would be lost.

Susan, Editor