Multicultural in Action Project: Book launch and ICONIC Mums Program Closing Ceremony
Updated: Apr 17, 2021
The Multiculturalism in Action Project headed by Centre Director Prof Siumi Maria Tam has sponsored a book launch at the Kowloon City Book Fair on Sunday, 17 December 2017. The book What are We Celebrating? Multicultural Festivals in Hong Kong was co-edited by Prof Tam and Dr Tang Wai-Man. The book tells us about 18 different ethnic festivals celebrated in Hong Kong, and is the first bilingual book on this topic. Written by contributors who are either anthropologists involved in the study of ethnic minority communities in Hong Kong, or are members of the ethnic groups themselves, serves as a platform for the enhancement of cross-cultural knowledge.
Prof Tam and Dr Tang shared with the audience the reasons for creating the book -- to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of interculturalism in Hong Kong, which is the essence of a global, metropolitan city. They believe that the book is timely and will help Hongkongers to learn about their culturally diverse community by taking part in these festivals.
ICONIC Mums Program Closing Ceremony
After the very insightful book launch, the event proceeded to the ICONIC Mums Program closing ceremony. The ICONIC Mums Program is the first ever intercultural program for women empowerment and social innovation. Carried out in 2017, the Program is a knowledge-transfer project that brought 30 women of different ethnic origins together. They participated in workshops to learn to rediscover and accept themselves as individuals, and as mothers. They then formed small intercultural groups to implement neighborhood projects to initiate change for the better. The themes included caring for the environment, using ethnic handicraft in creating cross-cultural knowledge, and enhancing harmonious relations in the neighborhood. In the process they developed intercultural friendship and brought new innovative power to various communities in Hong Kong.
Some of the ICONIC Mums participants shared how the workshop has inspired them and given them a sense of responsibility to keep healthy in mind and body. They realised the importance of taking care of themselves, so that they can be stronger and healthier moms for their families. Some of them said how they gave up their hobbies after marriage, but rekindled their passion for the arts, such as singing, during the workshop. It was indeed heartening to hear these stories.
A series of documentaries on the Program was premiered and was a highlight in the evening. The documentaries captured the moments of joy and intercultural exchanges, and how the participants forged a bond across different ethnicities. The closing came to an end with all participants singing the song “WE”, the lyrics of which were co-created by the ICONIC Mums participants in the fourth workshop, celebrating their common strengths. This was followed by “I’d like to teach the world to sing”, to mark the intercultural friendships formed among the ICONIC Mums, and the vision to bring this spirit to different parts of Hong Kong.