Intangible Cultural Heritage – an endorsement from government and scholastic institution


Culture, in short, refers to our daily life, our lifestyle. We fundamentally live in culture that constitutes our identity and values. It is not comprehension of the remaining factors of social phenomenon. Places in the world become more and more similar, under the influence of globalization. It is exceptionally important to preserve multicultural characteristics and conserve culture.

Heritage conservation is a significant part in cultural conservation. The importance of heritage is not limited to the value of history, aesthetics, architecture and science. The circulation of heritage from the past to present, also enhances sustainable development of culture and knowledge. Therefore, heritage conservation is itself a development. It meanwhile allows continuation of humanity development.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) indicated that 'vanishing heritage is irreparable damage to everybody'. (UNESCO, 2001)

What is Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)? As stated in the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), ICH covers the following five domains: 1) oral traditions and expressions; 2) performing arts; 3) social practices, rituals and festive events; 4) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and 5) traditional craftsmanship.

Rich and diversified, ICH items cover every aspect of daily life in Hong Kong. Commissioned by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to conduct this territory-wide research, the South China Research Center of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will be heading up this research, gathering ICH items which have significant historical and cultural value from the public.

Mr. Huen Pak Cheong, has studied so many years for his Ziwei Astrology academic collection (It is not superstition. It is a discipline of astronomical related knowledge). Ziwei Astrology was once regarded as the utmost imperial secret in the dynasties. Due to civil war, people from the dynasty passed it onto Mr. Lu in Shanghai, after generations, it eventually rested on the hands of Mr. Huen. This inheritance has been over a century.

Through joining the territory-wide survey of Intangible Cultural Heritage organized by Hong Kong government, it is hoped that this piece of valuable academics of Ziwei Astrology can be listed on the ICH inventory.