Saturday, February 13, 2010

A day in Tai O - visiting the Tanka Community

Just before the Chinese New Year, we headed to the far northwestern coast edge of Lantau Island, Tai O, to visit the Tanka Community. Although the Tanka people were busy preparing for the festival, with the help of YWCA, we were lucky to have Uncle Wing, one of the Tanka people, to conduct an in-depth interview with us.

Uncle Wing is a friendly and talkative old man, who used to work as a fisherman when he was young. He is now retired and he sometimes works as a tour guide in Tai O. He gave us quite a lot of information about the Tanka language, culture and his attitude towards the shift and death of the language. He spoke about the Sea Water Song, taught us some Tanka special terms and told us stories of how the Tanka people were being discriminated in the past. He even invited us to his home, the Chinese stilt-house community, which is home to the Tanka people, who have built their homes on stilts above the tidal flats for generations.

Please have a look at the slideshow - "Oriental Venice" and Uncle Wing

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