top of page
  • Writer's pictureIOFC

Story of the Month - January 2019

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

Photo caption: The MIA team's book launch at the CUHK Commercial Press Bookstore on Nov 28, 2018 where they discussed views on interculturalism and the role of academics in promoting social justice.


Who needs intercultural education? In Hong Kong, 8% of the population are non-Chinese, the bigger groups among them being Southeast Asians and South Asians. And though 92% of the population are all considered Chinese, they have come from many different cultural backgrounds, each one with their own traditions. The diverse languages and religions, as well as skills and knowledges that these various social groups have brought to Hong Kong have contributed to making Hong Kong a metropolis. Center Director Prof Siumi Maria Tam through her research on ethnic minority identities in Hong Kong, finds however that the various ethnic and cultural groups have low levels of interaction and of mutual understanding, and this has caused much cultural misconceptions and social exclusions.


Together with Centre fellows Prof Wyman Tang and Prof Janice Lau, she led two recent publication projects as part of her Knowledge Transfer Project "Multiculturalism in Action" (MIA). The two books "What are we celebrating? Multicultural Festivals in Hong Kong" (2017 Wheatear), and "The ICONIC Mums Kitchen: Tastes of intercultural Hong Kong" (2018 Department of Anthropology, CUHK) shared the vision of making cultural knowledge accessible to all, regardless of ethnic background. They believe that the first step is to have the same set of information available to all, and hence they insisted on publishing bilingually. They highlighted the importance of partnership with ethnic minority communities in raising cultural diversity awareness in Hong Kong, especially in creating a common ground among different ethnic communities.

譚教授與中心研究員鄧偉文教授及劉影翠教授在知識轉移項目“多元文化行動計劃”(MIA)下出版了兩種書籍,分別為<<“我們在慶祝什麼?香港的多元文化節慶>>(2017年麥穗),以及 <<ICONIC媽媽廚房:跨文化香港滋味>>(2018年香港中文大學人類學系),目的在分享文化知識,及打破族群之間的壁壘。研究者們認為,邁向理解的第一步是所有人都獲得相同的資訊,因此他們堅持雙語出版。他們強調與少數族裔社區建立夥伴關係對提高香港文化多元化意識的重要性,特別是在不同族群之間建立共通點。

Professor Tam emphasized in particular the realization of positive ethnic relations through intersubjective experiences, and due to a lack of intercultural education in the school curriculum, most students and teachers have little exposure to ideas and practice of multiculturalism. The second step to intercultural education is therefore making socially meaningful relations a reality for most people. The two books they published aim to create a safe and enjoyable educational environment in which participants can take part in each other's festivals, and try their hands on cooking each other's foods. In conjunction with the publication of the books, the MIA team has carried out multimedia presentations in schools in different parts of Hong Kong, as well as co-organized multicultural carnivals in housing estates in different districts. These are carried out in consultation with different ethnic partners, and together these activities hope to bring intercultural education to Hongkongers regardless of class and ethnic backgrounds, and ultimately make transculturality a sustainable and realizable goal.



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page