Dramatising Hong Kong’s oral history can bring different generations together

Dramatising Hong Kong’s oral history can bring different generations together

Making our personal stories come to life enriches the cultural life of our city, teaches us about real-life history and helps us understand each other

Healthy seedlings need nutrients, as virtuous youngsters need nurturing. Aesthetic development is important not just for cultivating a sense of beauty, but also for playing a key role in growing the spirit.

When we are small, we are told to be gentle, fair, polite and honest, either at home or at school. As time passes, rebelliousness kicks in, and we start to ask why. “Why do I need to do such and such? Why can’t I do this or that?”

This is a response to the one-directional input from our parents and teachers. We couldn’t imagine the consequences if we didn’t follow these rules.

However, the theatre is a space for us to see the invisible, to experience the impossible.

How study can help you gain ‘world vision’

The internationally renowned Chung Ying Theatre Company initiated the Community Oral History Theatre Project several years ago. The aim is to provide a platform for the elderly to share their own histories and stories through stage productions. By doing so, the project also promotes the dramatic arts, enriches the cultural life of our city, and helps citizens learn about real-life history.

The MTR Corporation worked with Chung Ying on a drama-in-education programme called “The Oral History Project with Elderly and Youth: Hung Hom and Ho Man Tin District”. The project dramatises the unique culture and history of these neighbourhoods for the collective memory of our society.

“Theatre is a magical space for changing someone’s thoughts, using perceptual effects to show consideration for our society,” says Koo Tin-lung, Chung Ying’s artistic director.

Secondary students and senior citizens put plenty of time and effort into this innovative and challenging cooperation. They took part in workshops over several months to learn acting skills before their gala performance in the summer of 2016.

Through this programme, youngsters could exchange points of view, see how the elderly live and come to understand their attitudes towards art and life. Furthermore, both the young and the elderly could appreciate the cultures of different generations and foster harmony in society.

Art is not just for fun; it is also a carrier of virtues to guide you through life. Let’s treat art as a part of all our lives!


This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Oral history on the stage brings us together


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