Lecture on Chinese Culture: Dr. Lam Fat Iam speaks on Chinese traditional festivals in the field of intangible cultural heritage

  • KWNC President Van Iat Kio presenting a souvenir to Dr. Lam Fat Iam

  • Group photo of the speaker and teachers and students of KWNC

Lecture on Chinese Culture: "Chinese Traditional Festivals" was held in Mong Ha Campus of Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau (KWNC) on 26 January, 2018. Dr. Lam Fat Iam, Director of the Centre of Continuous Education and Special Projects of Macao Polytechnic Institute was invited to be the keynote speaker to provide an introduction to the origin and definition of the cultural heritage, overview of intangible cultural heritage in Macao, protection and inheritance of Chinese traditional festivals in the field of intangible cultural heritage.

Dr. Lam introduced that since UNESCO adopted the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" in 1972, the protection of cultural heritage began to be popularized and generalized. Subsequently, "Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage" was passed in 2003, after which protection of cultural heritage has been expanded from tangible to intangible heritage. The scope of intangible cultural heritage includes oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, rituals, festive events and traditional craftsmanship. 

The protection of intangible heritage has been launched in Macao since 2006. A number of customs, performances and handicrafts have been covered in the protection list, including Drunken Dragon Festival, Patuá Theatre, Cantonese opera, herbal tea brewing and craft of bamboo scaffolding. Dr. Lam said that the culture development in different regions would be affected by the local culture with a loss of old elements and an emergence of new ones. Taking the development of Chinese traditional festivals in Macao as an example, people used to set off firecrackers in front of their houses during Chinese New Year. However, this practice has gradually changed as people will collectively set off firecrackers in the designated outdoor areas concerning safety reasons of living environment in Macao. On the other hand, the custom of giving red packets during Chinese New Year has assimilated into some Macanese families in which this practice has been transformed and red packets will be given at Christmas. 

This lecture enabled teachers and students to gain a better understanding of cultural heritage, increase their interests in the origin and development of intangible cultural heritage in Macao, and have a better understanding of the impacts and transformations of the Chinese traditional festival cultures all over the world.