Thursday, May 1, 2014

Anthropologists on the Road Series(3): Tea House Cantonese Opera-- A Vanishing Life-style in Guangzhou

The chàhjoh culture refers to the setting in tea houses with Cantonese opera performances. Since Cantonese opera was inscribed in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list in 2010, the Guangzhou government has adopted the cultural policy to develop Cantonese opera intensively. And therefore many youngsters has entered the music industry learning Cantonese opera. However, with its music performance being nationalized and started taking place in new forms, traditional chàhjoh culture has started to vanish. The aging audience in chàhjoh proved that the declaration of Cantonese opera as intangible cultural heritage did not benefit the chàhjoh business, but just led to a influx of desperate graduate students from the Cantonese opera schools who get lost while trying to figure out their future in the music industry. How to sustain the vanishing life-style and keep the local culture has become a question.

In her article "Tea House Cantonese Opera-- A Vanishing Life-style in Guangzhou", our former MPhil student Cheung Ah Li talked about the above issues, based on her research in Guangzhou. Click the picture below to see her full article in Hong Kong Discovery (Vol 77), Anthropologists on the Road series.

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