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In Love with Dunhuang

“Dun” means “grandness” and “huang”, “prosperity”. This “grand and prosperous city” Dunhuang has a history of more than a thousand years. It is a major juncture on the Silk Road, facilitating the economic and cultural exchanges between the east and the west and the rise of the great Han Dynasty. Dunhuang's beauty is charming and fascinating. The Dunhuang Railway runs southwest from Liugou Station of the Lanxin Railway on the Gobi Desert, passing the “world's wind warehouse” Guazhou, where strong wind blows all year round, to Dunhuang. The line suffers from a lack of water and electricity supply. It can only depend on Guazhou and Dunhuang for such needs. Looking back, we could imagine that the adverse natural environment must have posed much difficulty for the construction project of the railway several years ago.

The Mogao Caves in Dunhuang are also known as the Caves of Thousand Buddhas. The discovery of the Caves is regarded as the most valuable cultural encounter in the 20th century. Considered as the “Louvre in the East”, the Mogao Caves, first built in the Former Qin in the 4th century, are featured by delicate wall paintings and statues. The complex comprises 735 cells, wall paintings with a total area of 45,000 sq m and 2,415 coloured statues, standing as the world's largest and most profound collection of Buddhist fine art. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The noctilucent cup in Jiuquan, Gansu Province is a luxurious jade cup for wine. In this episode, we are going to visit Mr Huang Yuesu, the state-level successor of this intangible cultural heritage item. We shall also watch the Quzi opera in Dunhuang, which is a folk opera popular in five provinces and municipalities in the Northwest of China. The art originated from the popular music in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and took shape with additional local features in the late Qing. We will also visit the state-level successor of this intangible cultural heritage, Mr Xiao Dejin.

The Silk Road was once a principal path transmitting the cultures from the east to the west and vice versa. Despite that it has already slipped away from the course of history, it has left a lot of historical and cultural relics for us to explore. Although history passes, cultural heritage lasts.

Cultural Heritage items: Jiayu Pass, Mogao Caves, Jiuquan noctilucent cup, Dunhuang Quzi opera

Presenter: Afa Lee
Producer: Chan Wai-tong

Tag: Dunhuang, Dunhuang Railway, Jiayu Pass, Mogao Caves, cultural heritage, noctilucent cup, quzi opera, travel, culture

Cultural Heritage - The Railroad

  • Video
  • English
  • On-going
“Where there is railway, there is civilization.” Railway can bring about resources, manpower and culture. It can bring about prosperity.
The ten episodes of travel and culture documentary take the audience to China Railway Museum to look at all sorts of trains, from the oldest ones to the newest high speed rail. Our young presenters, Rannes Man, Tiffany Lee, Kay Ho, Leanne Ho and Anjaylia Chan shall introduce more railway lines to you, including the northernmost railway, Nenlin Railway, the southernmost railway, Yuehai Railway, the high speed railway and trains in Taiwan, the railway with a 8.5cm difference in track widths, Ji'er Railway, the world's highest railway, Qingzang Railway and the Xinjiang Railway. With the railway network as our framework, we shall unfold the diversities of different places and the secrets of their intangible cultural heritage items so as to understand more about our culture and history.
Narrator: John Culkin
Co-produced by: Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education

The programme is aired on TVB Pearl every Tuesday at HKT 1855 -1925.
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