Kuching Heritage Walk

Kuching Heritage Walk

For our pilot post, we have decided on a feature on Kuching Heritage Area, an important post the team can easily relate to.

This post was originally submitted to us in Chinese, which we have translated into English .  We hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

蔡羽: 古晋老街导览

Chai Kit Siang: Kuching Heritage Walk

Website: http://caiyukch.blogspot.my

Email: caiyu76@gmail.com

Facebook page砂拉越华人学术研究会文化导览团

B: Borneo Art Collective    C: Chai Kit Siang

B: Could you describe the selected project in brief?

C: “古晋老街导览”项目目前由砂拉越华人学术研究会(Association of Sarawak Chinese Academic Research)属下的文化导览团负责推动,定期引导市民、学生等在古晋的百年老街区穿街走巷,认识老街的历史和不同文化间的差异,有时也品尝当地的老味道,说说食物背后的故事。

“Kuching Heritage Walk” program is currently being run by the Association of Sarawak Chinese Academic Research. They conduct walking guides with the Kuching locals and students throughout the historic streets of Kuching, sharing the history and unique cultures that are deeply embedded in these streets, and sometimes stopping to have a go at the local delicacies, whilst telling the story behind these local flavours.


B: Why and how did you start this project?

C: 由于本身业余从事地方研究工作,并以古晋老街区为主要研究范围,因此引来学校和社团的邀约,就这样开始老街导览的工作。在一段时日后,认为有必要扩大这个工作,于是逐步栽培新的导览员。


Having done local research in my spare time, mainly focusing on the Kuching Heritage area, I started this project after being approached by schools and organizations. After some time, it was necessary to expand this program, and hence the recruitment of new guide members started.

Kuching Heritage Area is a historic site, and a living one at that. Through our walking guides, one can learn the different cultures in Kuching, and how they have managed to co-exist peacefully over these hundred years. We see these walks as an outdoor curricular activity, and we hope, through this program, locals gain a deeper understanding and love towards our home, and that locals will be willing to contribute back to their hometown. In other words, where there is more knowledge, it leads to higher appreciation and eventually conservation of this valuable cultural inheritance, whether tangible or intangible.

B: How do you plan to further expand the reach of your project?

C: 我们逐步把老街的讯息推广出去,让一些人体会到历史和文化并不遥远,它就在我们日常生活里,而且直接影响着我们。我们也让一些人开始明白,老街不止是老旧的商业区,它同时也是一个重要的文化见证。更多人尊重历史和文化,并且有意识加以保存和推广,我们才能在未来创建更伟大的历史和文化。

We are gradually spreading news of the heritage walk, making people realise history and culture are deeply intertwined - they are part of our daily lives, and directly affecting us. We have also made people understand that the heritage area is not just an old commercial area, it is also an important cultural witness. We will only be able to create greater history and culture by having more people respect, appreciate, protect and promote our heritage.

B:  What was on your radar when you were creating this project ?

C: 我发觉古晋人还是有相当浓厚的乡土情怀,在推广的过程中大家都有所感动。我想这份情怀很重要,我们都因为有许多对这座城市共同的记忆,而对彼此倍感亲切。或许,这就是“人情味”。更重要的是,我们的导览活动得到越来越多老街坊的支持,这是正面的。

I realized Kuching people generally have an intimate relationship with their home, and everybody was touched throughout the program. I think this intimacy is extremely important, as everybody has shared memories of this city, hence developing closeness with each other, this is perhaps known as “human touch”. Most importantly, there are more and more old folks coming out to show support for this program, which is positive feedback for us.

B: Where do you see yourself or your project evolving in near future?

C: 我们将扩大导览团队,并且同步扩大导览的范围。在内容方面,我们思考在导览之余,也增加更多亲身接触的体验。将后或许可以跟老街街坊携手,让参与者亲身体验一些手艺,比如冲泡咖啡、使用传统称等。我也曾经帮助一所学校规划让学生到老街的商店进行半日打工体验。

We will expand the walking guide teams and walking area. In terms of content, we are contemplating to provide more personal touches outside of the walks. Perhaps form a collaboration with the street neighbourhood, allowing participants to enjoy first hand the art of brewing coffee, enjoying the traditions etc. I've also organized a half day school outing to experience working in the Heritage Area.

B: What plans do you have for Borneo art at the moment?

C: 我想能够把不同领域却有相同理念的经验结合在同一个平台上,彼此互相观摩与参考,这是很棒的一件事。这个社会需要有更多有理想又肯付诸实行的人,那么我们的未来才会变得更丰富多彩。

I plan to consolidate different categories but with the same concept of Borneo art on a common platform, enabling us to observe and learn from one another – this would be a great thing to do. For this society to prosper, we need more people with strong vision and the willingness to execute their ideas.

B: Please recommend three stories/projects/individuals/groups for us to reach out to in order to expand the Borneo Art Collective network.

C: 古晋老街区有许多老故事,值得更多人进行采访,并以不同的方式呈现,这些民间故事往往不被记录在政府档案中。砂拉越河对岸的甘榜也有悠久历史,相信也是值得挖掘的宝地。还有许多土著的传统庆典活动,具有很高的文化遗产价值,也有待广泛的介绍。

There are many old stories in the heritage area, these folklore never make it to government records. It is worth interviewing them, using different methods of production. The kampong opposite the Sarawak river also has old history, which I believe is treasure worth digging. Also, the traditions and celebration activities of the indigenous people, have extremely high cultural value and is worth introducing to the world.

Explore Kuching City Central

Explore Kuching City Central