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Traditions-OK
Number 31 - May 2013

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Group Co-ordinator and Bulletin Editor:
Kenneth Ruddle, Asahigaoka-cho 7-22-511, Ashiya-shi, Hyogo-ken, Japan 659-0012.

Production:
Information Section, Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division, SPC, BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia

Produced with financial assistance from Australia, France and New Zealand.


Note from the editor,

This edition consists of three contributed articles, plus notes on a few selected recent books. In the first article, “Community collection of ocean current data: An example from Northern Aceh Province, Indonesia”, Syamsul Rizal and his co-authors describe the involvement of local fishermen in a data gathering project conducted to augment and complement their own local knowledge. In contrast to long-term projects using experts, the approach described in this article illustrates an inexpensive way of data collection involving fishermen. Because it involves fishermen in all stages of the research process, later application of the results to develop the skills and therefore the incomes of fishermen is facilitated. The research system was designed so that participating fishermen could collect oceanographic data while engaged in regular fishing activities using fishing boats, gear and equipment that included GPS sounders with data logging formed provided as part of the post-tsunami recovery assistance to Aceh fishermen by the Body of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. This GPS and its accessories are used by fishermen to collect and record oceanographic properties of the water when they go fishing. Fishermen are trained in using a GPS and reading the maps produced by the data they gathered, with trainers chosen both from among fishermen and university students. They were trained how to train for approximately one week. These people then trained the fishermen how to use a GPS. The data obtained by the fishermen were collected by the trainer, who used the information to produce a map. The fishermen also provided information on underwater hazards they had experienced, so it could be added to the maps.

Economic and leisure activity diversification is a constant challenge to small states, be they islands, cities, or something else.  So the second article in this issue, in which Sidney Cheung and Jiting Luo describe an innovative project conducted in the Sheung Wan neighbourhood of Hong Kong Island, by the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, to assist the diversification and improved management of local cultural resources for Hong Kong’s in-bound tourists, should be of particular interest in the Pacific Islands region. Hitherto, visitors to Hong Kong have been directed toward shopping, and led to sample a variety of cuisines in just the main tourist destination districts. Although in that way visitors can enjoy the unique atmosphere in Hong Kong as an Asian metropolis, the marketing of the city as a “consumer destination” fails to convey a sense of local Hong Kong cultures, traditions or heritages. The project’s immediate objectives were to examine the cultural and heritage roles of a local community and tap into its collective knowledge, ascertain the needs of the tourists regarding cultural tourism, and develop a local community cultural tour prototype that, by using an Internet information base, enables tourists to learn about local and national history, traditional trade relations, impacts of globalization, Chinese culinary culture, local development, and heritage preservation strategies. This project employed cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and critical approaches in order to understand the historical background and culinary heritages of Hong Kong society, as a social and cultural basis for the development of sustainable tourism. In the long term, the prototype developed in Sheung Wan can serve as model so that more local Hong Kong neighbourhoods would be included in an overall cultural tourism project. To better understand the history and trade system of Shueng Wan as a coastal hub, the authors and their team conducted interviews with traders (importers, wholesalers and retailers) as well as shoppers in the local community. They did this to tap into their knowledge and stories about their trades and heritage preservation strategies. Information gathered from these interviews, surveys and archival materials forms the basis for an interactive website that contains walking maps and academic articles and books for reference. It enables visitors to explore the history and culture of Nam Pak Hong (a south–north trading company), the Chinese herbal medicine street, and the salted fish alleys in Sheung Wan. This way, communities’ awareness of being promoters for Hong Kong tourism can be enhanced, and both in-bound and domestic tourists can enjoy and benefit from learning — from the perspective of everyday life — how Hong Kong developed into a world-renowned city. Particularly important also is that the collective knowledge of a community can be preserved and passed on to future generations.

The project is ongoing. Professor Sidney C.H. Cheung is Chairperson of the Department of Anthropology and concurrently Associate Director of the Centre for Cultural Heritage Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include visual anthropology, tourism, heritage studies, and food and identity, which are reflected in his co-edited books “Tourism, Anthropology, and China” (White Lotus 2001), “The Globalization of Chinese Food” (Routledge Curzon 2002), and “Food and Foodways in Asia: Resource, Tradition and Cooking” (Routledge 2007). Luo Jiting received her M.Phil degree in Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and is now a research assistant in the Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is interested in traditional ethnic architecture, food studies and heritage studies, as reflected in her articles published in Hong Kong Discovery and Sheung Wan.
In the third article, “Fish and People: An innovative fisheries science learning tool for the Pacific”, Dr Simon Foale of the Department of Anthropology, Archaeology and Sociology at James Cook University, in Townsville, Australia describes a new fisheries science education DVD targeted mainly at high school students in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. However, it is already proving popular with a much broader range of audiences in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, and in far-off Kenya. The tool is constructed around a series of interviews with Solomon Islanders (fishers, scientists, non-governmental organization workers, government officials and teachers), each of whom delivers a key part of the message, in language and context of immediate relevance for the target audience.

Kenneth Ruddle


Contents

Community collection of ocean current data: An example from Northern Aceh Province, Indonesia
Rizal S., Haridhi H.A., Wilson C.R., Hasan A., Setiawan I. (pdf: 1 MB)
“Modernology”, cultural heritage and neighbourhood tourism: The example of Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Cheung S.C.H., Luo J. (pdf: 869 KB)
“Fish and People”: An innovative fisheries science learning tool for the Pacific
Foale S. (pdf: 159 KB)
 

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