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postgraduate thesis: Little Thailand in Hong Kong: understanding the Thai community of Kowloon City and its tangible and intangiblecultural heritage

TitleLittle Thailand in Hong Kong: understanding the Thai community of Kowloon City and its tangible and intangiblecultural heritage
Authors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Kwan, W. N. [關穎妍]. (2013). Little Thailand in Hong Kong : understanding the Thai community of Kowloon City and its tangible and intangible cultural heritage. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5071603
AbstractEthnic minorities in Hong Kong are usually ignored. However, their participation and contribution in the Hong Kong history are not negligible. There are a group of Thai settled in Kowloon City for decades. And because of their existence, Kowloon City is known as the “Little Thailand” in Hong Kong. By understanding this group of people through their history and development, one can recognize that they are very special to Hong Kong. With the removal of the Kai Tak International Airport, Kowloon City is now under re-development pressure. The Thai, which has been settling in the area since 1970s, may face the risk of losing their living places. It can be seen that some Thai stores and restaurants have already been closed or moved to other areas due to the increasing shop rents over these few years. It is crucial to record their significances in Kowloon City before this unique culture vanishes. Kowloon City is an area with a very characteristic historical background and setting. The area is famous of its dense streets forming a fish-bone shape, with Nga Tsin Wai Road as the main street which connects all other streets together. Kowloon City is a place for different styles of food. There are oven 200 restaurants which many of them are in Thai style. As a result, Kowloon City is also called “Little Thailand”. Thai is one of the ethnic minority groups in Hong Kong. The 2011 Hong Kong by-census report showed that about 14,000 Thais living in Hong Kong, making up around 2.9% of the total non-Chinese population, and about 0.2% of the total Hong Kong population. Most of them live on the Kowloon side, with the majority in Kowloon City and Kwun Tong1.Many Thais live and own restaurants and stores in Kowloon City. Due to the Kai Tak Airport nearby, the height of buildings in Kowloon City is limited. With the demolishment of Kai Tak Airport, the area is under re-development pressure. Developers start to purchase old buildings for high rise modern buildings and the rents of shops significantly increase over these years. The Thais who used to base around the area are under threat of moving to other areas, and the characteristic of “Little Thailand” may start to vanish. The objective of this dissertation is to understand the Thai community in Kowloon City, document their activities, identify their character-defining elements and values and study their potential challenges. The study area is focused on South Wall Road, which has a high density for Thai-related businesses and activities. This dissertation aims to study the tangible and intangible character-defining cultural heritage elements of the Thai community at Kowloon City. To achieve this research goal, it is essential to understand the place and the community’s origins, history and culture. However, given the limited time, it is not possible to carry out a comprehensive research of the Thai community in the entire Kowloon City. Instead, the research must limit its scope by focusing on a small but representative study area within Kowloon City. The purpose of this is more about demonstrating the research process through a smaller study area so as to set a “template” for future research that extends to other study areas at Kowloon City. This dissertation adopts the research methodology of cultural mapping for documenting the tangible and intangible assets of the area in order to better understand the place and its culture, and focuses on the area with more Thai-related activities in Kowloon City. South Wall Road, which is chosen as the study area, is one of the major streets for Thai activities including shops and restaurants, and festivals. By conducting field studies and interviews, the lives of the Thai and their unique cultures can be recorded and understood. --------------- ------------------------------------------------------------ --------------- ------------------------------------------------------------
DegreeMaster of Science in Conservation
SubjectThais - China - Hong Kong.
Thais - Social life and customs.
Cultural property - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramConservation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/192795

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKwan, Wing-yin, Natalie.-
dc.contributor.author關穎妍.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-11-24T02:00:32Z-
dc.date.available2013-11-24T02:00:32Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationKwan, W. N. [關穎妍]. (2013). Little Thailand in Hong Kong : understanding the Thai community of Kowloon City and its tangible and intangible cultural heritage. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5071603-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/192795-
dc.description.abstractEthnic minorities in Hong Kong are usually ignored. However, their participation and contribution in the Hong Kong history are not negligible. There are a group of Thai settled in Kowloon City for decades. And because of their existence, Kowloon City is known as the “Little Thailand” in Hong Kong. By understanding this group of people through their history and development, one can recognize that they are very special to Hong Kong. With the removal of the Kai Tak International Airport, Kowloon City is now under re-development pressure. The Thai, which has been settling in the area since 1970s, may face the risk of losing their living places. It can be seen that some Thai stores and restaurants have already been closed or moved to other areas due to the increasing shop rents over these few years. It is crucial to record their significances in Kowloon City before this unique culture vanishes. Kowloon City is an area with a very characteristic historical background and setting. The area is famous of its dense streets forming a fish-bone shape, with Nga Tsin Wai Road as the main street which connects all other streets together. Kowloon City is a place for different styles of food. There are oven 200 restaurants which many of them are in Thai style. As a result, Kowloon City is also called “Little Thailand”. Thai is one of the ethnic minority groups in Hong Kong. The 2011 Hong Kong by-census report showed that about 14,000 Thais living in Hong Kong, making up around 2.9% of the total non-Chinese population, and about 0.2% of the total Hong Kong population. Most of them live on the Kowloon side, with the majority in Kowloon City and Kwun Tong1.Many Thais live and own restaurants and stores in Kowloon City. Due to the Kai Tak Airport nearby, the height of buildings in Kowloon City is limited. With the demolishment of Kai Tak Airport, the area is under re-development pressure. Developers start to purchase old buildings for high rise modern buildings and the rents of shops significantly increase over these years. The Thais who used to base around the area are under threat of moving to other areas, and the characteristic of “Little Thailand” may start to vanish. The objective of this dissertation is to understand the Thai community in Kowloon City, document their activities, identify their character-defining elements and values and study their potential challenges. The study area is focused on South Wall Road, which has a high density for Thai-related businesses and activities. This dissertation aims to study the tangible and intangible character-defining cultural heritage elements of the Thai community at Kowloon City. To achieve this research goal, it is essential to understand the place and the community’s origins, history and culture. However, given the limited time, it is not possible to carry out a comprehensive research of the Thai community in the entire Kowloon City. Instead, the research must limit its scope by focusing on a small but representative study area within Kowloon City. The purpose of this is more about demonstrating the research process through a smaller study area so as to set a “template” for future research that extends to other study areas at Kowloon City. This dissertation adopts the research methodology of cultural mapping for documenting the tangible and intangible assets of the area in order to better understand the place and its culture, and focuses on the area with more Thai-related activities in Kowloon City. South Wall Road, which is chosen as the study area, is one of the major streets for Thai activities including shops and restaurants, and festivals. By conducting field studies and interviews, the lives of the Thai and their unique cultures can be recorded and understood. --------------- ------------------------------------------------------------ --------------- -------------------------------------------------------------
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50716037-
dc.subject.lcshThais - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshThais - Social life and customs.-
dc.subject.lcshCultural property - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titleLittle Thailand in Hong Kong: understanding the Thai community of Kowloon City and its tangible and intangiblecultural heritage-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5071603-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Science in Conservation-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineConservation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5071603-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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