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Cultural Heritage

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          The unique geographical features of Sai Kung have made it the “Back Garden of Hong Kong” nowadays.  And yet, this Back Garden had contributed to the cultural, social and infrastructural aspects of Hong Kong at different times in history.

 

          During the Anti-Japanese War, the undulating hills and countless bays of Sai Kung sheltered the guerrillas of the Hong Kong Independent Battalion to attack the Japanese army and to save those engaged in cultural work of Hong Kong.  The guerilla force had successfully assaulted the Japanese army and rescued prisoners-of-war for many times.  The “Memorial Monuments for Sai Kung Martyrs During World War II” at Tsam Chuk Wan of Sai Kung marks the close relationship between the residents of Sai Kung and the Anti-Japanese War history.  The establishment of the Society of the Veterans of the Original Hong Kong Independent Battalion also ascertained the heroic deeds of the anti-Japanese veterans of Sai Kung.  Hence, Sai Kung is an important site for studying the history of Hong Kong during Japanese occupation.

 

         Sai Kung is a community made up of urban and rural areas.  However, urbanization had posed great challenges to the original residents of Sai Kung.  With the gradual decline in fishery and agriculture in 1960s, a lot of young villagers had moved to the urban areas or even overseas for a living.  In many of the villages, only the elderly were left behind with tenants moving in from urban areas.  In spite of this, those who had migrated overseas or those who had moved to the urban areas for a living keep in touch with their relatives living in the village.  They will come back to the village for celebrations, festivals or religious activities.  This is a practice hard to come by.  Hence, the traditional local culture of Sai Kung plays an important role in reuniting people and linking up the urban and rural areas.

 

          The High Island Reservoir, which was originally a beautiful inlet, contributes tremendously to solving the fresh water shortage problem of Hong Kong.  The river valleys and the bays of Sai Kung offer different people with a place to live in their own style.  This also allows them to develop and preserve their own culture and custom.

 

Reference:

MA Muk-chi et al, extract of Foreword (P. 9-10), "The History and Heritage of Sai Kung" (Sai Kung District Council, Hong Kong, September 2003) (Chinese version only)

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