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Gentle Bug: Site Visit and Field Work of the Ladybug Project

December 18, 2010
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Lam Tsuen (林村) is a place in Tai Po and we have been there last Friday. The most famous event in Lam Tsuen must be the Wishing Trees. Some people used to go to Lam Tsuen in Lunar New Year and pray for luck in the following year. In this project, we would try to shoot rituals and the daily life of the people in Lam Tsuen for recording the particulate cultural heritage of Hong Kong.

Lam Tsuen is very close to Tai Po market station. Traveling by bus number 64K can fast be there.

We try to focus on two to three locations for shooting. First, we decide to shoot in front of the Tin Hau temple in Lam Tsuen. People would ask for their fortune with “Sing Buo (Sangreal)” (a kind of tool for communication with the god) and fortune tellers in the temple. Second, the wishing trees are the focal point that we want to shoot. People throw joss paper which tied with an orange onto the tree; it is “Bo Dip (寶牒)”. Third, we decide to shoot the wishing boards and the women who are selling those “Bo Dip”.

The Tin Hau Temple (天后廟) located near the wishing trees was built around 18th century, during domination of Qianlong (乾隆) in Qing Dynasty (清朝). The early wishing trees are two big banyans; at that time villagers living nearby believed that they were actually deities. And the tradition of throwing joss paper which is tied with an orange onto the trees to make wish has inherited for over two hundred years.

Intangible heritage is manifestation of outstanding universal value providing people sense of identity and continuity. The tradition of making wish in form of throwing joss paper which is tied with an orange onto the trees is the kind of cultural tradition.

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