Continuing Education Main Headline

School of Continuing Education hosts seminar to showcase intangible cultural heritage

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese
IFTM seminar discusses the connections between Taoist divinity Va Kong, Red Boat Opera, and Wing Chun martial arts, offering insights into Chinese tradition

On 6 November, the Grand Hall at IFTM’s Inspiration Building hosted a seminar titled “Va Kong Celebration – Wing Chun Martial Arts.” The event was organised by the Institute’s School of Continuing Education (SCE) and featured as a speaker Mr. Frank Lee, President of the Macau Wu Jun Fu Yueju Opera Role Association.

Mr. Lee talked about the history of Taoist divinity Va Kong, including its origins, religious significance, and ties to Wing Chun, a form of kung fu. Macao written records on celebrations honouring Va Kong date back to at least 1876, though such festivities were in abeyance for a period, only being revived in 2019.

During the seminar, Mr. Lee also discussed the evolution of the use of an iconic wooden dummy – a training device for solo use – among practitioners of Wing Chun. He traced use of the equipment to the Red Boat Opera troupes, a refence to Guangdong opera groups from the 19th century.

Seminar attendees were treated to a martial arts demonstration on stage, offering a glimpse into the riches of Chinese cultural tradition.

Macau Wu Jun Fu Yueju Opera Role Association was established in 2020 to preserve and promote Cantonese Opera. Wing Chun martial arts are central to this mission. Cantonese Opera and Wing Chun are officially recognised in Macao, appearing in the city’s Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The IFTM School of Continuing Education (SCE), in its commitment to preserving valuable cultural traditions, not only hosts seminars with pre-eminent guest speakers, but also provides courses covering culture, heritage, tourism and related subjects.