The many tastes of Hong Kong worth keeping

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 4:14am

About 500 slices of traditional Hong Kong life were presented yesterday for possible recognition and protection as part of the city's intangible cultural heritage.

Skills and rituals ranging from tai chi to the making of milk tea were included in a draft inventory put forward for public consultation.

The 477 items also include the fire dragon dance, the annual festival at the Wong Tai Sin temple, the craft of making bean curd, soy sauce and shrimp paste, and the Chinese dialects Hakka, Fukienese, and Chiu Chow.

Researchers at the University of Science and Technology drew up the list after a three-year survey commissioned by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The inventory is divided into five categories - oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and traditional craftsmanship.

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing wrote in his blog last month that the university task force also considered outdoor food stalls or dai pai dong and the Hong Kong-style cafes known as cha chaan tengs.

But they were eventually dropped because the operations of these two forms of business varied greatly, depending on their bosses.

"Milk tea made it to the list because the skill was handed down from generation to generation," Tsang wrote.

The consultation will run until November 9.