Settlement, Life, and Politics—Understanding the Traditional New Territories
This book is a history of village communities in the New Territories of Hong Kong, including those in the areas of Ha Tsuen, Hung Shui Kiu, and Sha Tin as well as those on the islands of Lamma, Ma Wan, and Tung Ping Chau. Elaborating on primary interviews with village elders, government documents, and public information, this book places the individual histories of each area into the context of Hong Kong’s rich past. The introduction sets up the rest of the book, outlining common themes and highlighting the dangers of using the communal memories of village communities while, at the same time, showing the valuable information doing so can bring. Each chapter provides a more detailed account of one specific area, concentrating on the settlement history, the lifestyle, and the politics of that area.
The place-names for all of the Hong Kong locations referred to in this volume are given as they appear in A Gazetteer of Place Names in Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories, Hong Kong Government, 1960. Place-names of locations within China are given in Pinyin or, for places within Guangdong Province, in standard Cantonese Romanisation, with Pinyin on first appearance. In each case, the Chinese characters for the place-names can be found in the index. Chinese personal names of New Territories clan members and other Cantonese-speaking persons are given in standard Cantonese transliteration, while others are given in Pinyin. The Chinese characters for each name can be found in the index. Chinese expressions are given in standard Cantonese Romanisation where necessary. The glossary at the end of this volume provides a list of all the Chinese expressions used or alluded to in the text, while indexes are included for all persons and locations, as well as for general topics discussed.
A second volume of papers is in preparation.
I would like to thank the village elders who gave so much of their time to answer questions, and for their forbearance during the interviews even when, as often happened, they clearly thought the answers ought to have been self-evident. These papers could not have been produced without their help. This book is their history: it is a history of immense complexity and interest as well as unending fascination. As this list of people numbers over a hundred, I will not name them here, but I am extremely grateful for their help.
Thanks are also due to Professor James Watson, for urging me to prepare this book. Mr Tim Ko Tim-keung gave invaluable help with the Plates. Other assistance with the Plates is acknowledged in the appropriate footnotes and captions. Thanks are also due to Dr Louis Ng, of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, for giving approval for the re-working and publication of the papers originally prepared for the department and to Professor Ivan Ho, Mrs Rosa Ho, and Mr Tony Miller for securing similar approval from KCL, FiSEK, the Housing Department, and Sun Hung Kei Real Estate Agents. Professor Anthony Siu also gave approval for the re-working and re-publication of the Lamma paper.
Patrick H. Hase
1. The Tangs of Ha Tsuen and their History
2. Beside Blood-stained Water: The History of the Hung Shui Kiu Area
3. The Nine Alliances of Lek Yuen: Traditional Sha Tin
4. A Small Island in the Midst of the Sea: The History of Lamma Island
5. By Violent Waters: The History of Ma Wan
6. Tung Ping Chau: Settlement and Society