Our Programs > Conservation > Cangdong, China
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Introduction


The Cangdong Heritage Education Centre is an ongoing Conservation and Education Project. It aims to support both tangible and intangible heritage of Cangdong village and to promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the local village ways of life. Buildings are being repaired, renovated and revitalized in ways that are authentic and sensitive to their heritage. With the progress of the project, we hope that some heritage traditions that are frail and might otherwise be lost can be preserved and revitalized. We hope to build up the villagers’ pride in their heritage and that the villagers themselves would participate in conservation activities actively, to share with visitors their cultural experience and lifestyle. We also hope to provide villagers job opportunities, so that the village can develop in a more sustainable way and we hope that others, particularly Overseas Chinese, may understand their heritage more fully.

Intrinsic is the only authorized organization that allowed to accept application for Cangdong Heritage Education Centre

Setting of the Project
This Project is based at the restored Clan houses in Cangdong Village, Kaiping Guangdong. Kaiping is one of the four or recently five counties (Wu Yi / Sze Yap) in western Guangdong from which many Chinese emigrated. It has gathered an enthusiastic group concerned particularly with Wu Yi / Sze Yap culture and with cultural heritage, conservation and an appreciation of the issues involved.

Aim of the Project
The retention of original architectural features provides a basis for education, meetings, cultural events and other functions. Where possible, villagers and former villagers offer personally guided tours giving personal anecdotes and authentic cultural experiences for students and young people. This facilitates the revitalisation of historic buildings and preservation of traditional culture and skills all with a goal of sustainability providing a win-win situation for all concerned. Goals of the Project include the following:

  • Preserve and revitalize local traditional cultures and facilitate re-use of historical buildings
  • Achieve a continuity of local culture through visitors' participation and experience
  • Engender a sense of pride, understanding and belonging
  • Attract Overseas students, and visitors from around the world
  • Provide a bridge and communications between neighboring villages and students
  • Build up links between China and overseas-born Chinese
  • Establish a pilot project for cultural heritage conservation and development in China
  • Provide a platform for both local and overseas students to interact, to understand the culture of South China and to share cultural exchange

To achieve these goals, the first objective of the Project is to establish and maintain facilities in Cangdong village for the education base. Some of the historic buildings have been slightly modified to suit modern needs and provide simple accommodation, while respecting the various elements of the ancestral hall. Visitors can come to Cangdong Diaolou village and live there a while, learning through interactive experience about local life and Overseas Chinese lifestyle, and about protection of the environment and the cultural heritage. This helps them develop skills and appreciate an overseas hometown feeling; it also helps in giving an understanding of the importance of heritage conservation.

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