Xiamen's intangible cultural heritage
Li Mei: Hi Adam, do you know what made last Saturday special?
Adam: June 9? It seems I’m going to fail your question.
Li Mei: It was Chinese Cultural Heritage Day but don't feel too bad. The day was only begun in 2006 and many Chinese citizens don't know it exists.
Adam: I confess I've never heard about it.
Li Mei: It's all about protecting China's traditions. Xiamen, like so many Chinese cities, has a wealth of cultural heritage.
Adam: Yeah, I did read that Gulangyu was added to the World Culture Heritage list last year. It's a major recognition of the island's historical status.
Li Mei: For Xiamen, the listing is an honor and a responsibility to protect and promote the islet.
Adam: What are some other examples of cultural heritage in Xiamen?
Li Mei: Gezai opera is a great one, have you heard of it?
Adam: I actually went to a performance last week and it was fantastic.
Li Mei: There are more than 360 kinds of opera in China but Gezai is the only one to originate in Taiwan in the 20th century. It earned a place on China's inaugural national intangible cultural heritage list.
Adam: I didn't know that. What else is important in Xiamen?
Li Mei: Have you heard of lacquer thread sculpture?
Adam: Nope, what is it?
Li Mei: Artists use fine lacquer threads to make decorative patterns like characters and animals on items such as plates, vases and stoneware.
Adam: I wonder if the local mooncake game is part of Xiamen's intangible cultural heritage?
Li Mei: It is, and that's not all. Spring flower headwear, gaojia opera and the chest-thumping dance are all part of the area's cultural heritage.
Adam: Wow, it seems I still have much to learn.
By Ye Zihan