College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Appreciating the art of the Cantonese language and Cantonese music

The Department of Chinese and History joined hands with the HKSAR Education Bureau (Education Curriculum Institute) to organise the third lecture series on the topics of the Cantonese language and Cantonese music on campus on 5 December and 7 December 2018 respectively. In covering the topics, speakers elaborated on the cultural relationships between Hong Kong and Southern China.

Photo 2: Mr WONG King-chung shared his insights in collective Cantonese music memory of Hong Kong people with the audience

The series kicked off with a lecture on the origins of Cantonese in the context of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, delivered by Professor CHING May-bo of the Department of Chinese and History.  Where Cantonese was spoken in certain areas across China, divergence in phonetics, intonations, grammar and applications were noticeable in different provinces. The historical evolutions of trade, demographic changes, language education, indigenous music traditions and modern media applications in the Guangdong area were examined in order to trace the development of Cantonese.

The second lecture, conducted by Mr WONG King-chung, Instructor in the Department of Chinese and History, delved into the collective Cantonese music memory of Hong Kong people, with a discussion on the case of LUI Man-shing, the famed Cantonese music composer. A common understanding in musical research is that specific genres of music appear in designated locations, yet Cantonese music was never bounded by territory and flourished in Shanghai and Hong Kong.  A legend in Cantonese music, LUI Man-shing (1898-1981), shaped such musical development. Having migrated to Shanghai at a young age with his adoptive father, Lui spent his adolescence learning and honing his musical skills.  War prompted him to move to Hong Kong, where he continued inspiring many with his spiritual music. Mr Wong also led a discussion with the audience on the development of regional music genres from a historical perspective.

Funded by the Tin Ka Ping Foundation, the lecture series, co-organised by the Education Bureau and the Department of Chinese and History, is providing four training sessions for secondary school teachers annually from 2018 to 2020 on a wide array of themes including Chinese history, culture, cultural heritage and philosophy.  Lectures were held earlier this academic year on iconological history, as well as ancient and modern Chinese history related to Hong Kong.

Cover Photo: The lecture series attracted a full house