我認同的歷史感(轉載文章兩篇)

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《保護歷史文化不是一時的抗爭》,chungpui

關於天星,本來有很多話想說,但還是這一句,現在畢業論文要緊,滿腹牢騷還是先乖乖把論文完成。

但有一些事,我還是不吐不快,也很希望有心人替我宣傳一下。

保護香港的歷史文化,抗議和絕食好比垂危病人彌留之際給他做電擊。而病人生病的主因不是政府亂拆,而是香港普羅大眾平日壓根兒不重視香港歷史,也不關心文物保育,頂多只有這裏的一些人嗟歎,那邊又有一些人呻吟一下。然後,該上班的上班,該玩樂的玩樂。

天星一役,把那些嗟歎的聲音聚集了一起,終於扭結成一股民間力量。但我們是否只看到這裏要拆、那裏要拆?還是我們看到背後更深層的問題,即香港的歷史一直被忽略和埋沒?我們能否把天星的激動轉化成長遠的、積極的力量,使香港的文化和歷史不會在瀕危一刻才受關注,而是能在平日健康成長,生根發芽?

香港的一百六十多年歷史,是一個大寶藏。但太多的人事傳奇,連香港人都不知道。你說可笑嗎?我說是可恥。

香港六七十年代曾有一本《香港史地研究》的期刊,但出不到幾期就完蛋了。

香港有一個「香港歷史學會」,但其實只是香港中學歷史科老師的組織,和香港歷史毫無關係。

研究香港史最積極的本地團體是皇家亞洲學會香港分會,但這個會幾乎只以英語為溝通語言,與廣大香港市民絕緣。

香港史的著作,英文遠多於中文,廣大市民之間又有幾個會特地走到swindon買香港歷史的書?

上列最後兩項事實還反映了,在香港佔絕對少數的英語社群竟然比香港主流社會更關注香港歷史。

由此,我作出以下倡議,呼籲有心人思考以下行動的可能性:

一. 成立一個香港歷史文化的專門網站及論壇,形式可參考著名的「香港地方」(見:http://www.hk-place.com ),讓更多人認識和討論香港的史地文化。

二. 創辦一本香港歷史文化研究的中文專門雜誌,形式可參考為澳門歷史研究立下汗馬功的《文化雜誌》(見:http://www.icm.gov.mo/rc/PreindexC.asp )雜誌也許可以由香港歷史博物館或相關機構主導出版,目的是提供一個發表香港史地文化研究成果的平台。

三. 成立民間研究香港史地文化的興趣組織,以中文為主要語言,形式可參考皇家亞洲學會香港分會(見:http://www.royalasiaticsociety.org.hk/ ),負責組織香港史地文化的公眾教育活動。

四. 鼓勵香港的大學/大專成立專門的香港史地文化研究中心,培養香港史地文化研究的專門人材。其中以中大、浸大、珠海較有可能。

很對不起,我人在北京,很多香港著名的討論區或網站都上不了。如果有人認同上述倡議的話,還望能代為轉傳,先謝了。本文作者放棄本文版權,歡迎隨便轉載。

(以下是Y.T.的評論)


Some Preliminary Reflections,Y.T

The author of this article offered some very good reflections and suggestions, on a subject, which has drawn almost all the attention on this Forum of late. The subject is of particular interest to this place; and eager souls, or activists, have offered no less readily their version of things to the reader. I said their version, because we do not hear, for instance, how those policemen involved in the clearing of the protest viewed the incident, even though their voices, being not reported on the major newspapers either, should no less be deemed rarely heard of.

A number of propositions recur in most of the comments, propositions which many commentators would readily take for given; I mean: that HK people want a sense of history; that the preservation of cultural artifacts is the hallmark of a modern metropolitan; that the want of historical sense is a product of colonial rule and education; that the recent Star Ferry Incident reveals perfectly the want of de-colonialization in this place; etc.

Such recounting of the incident, as well here as in the major essays on the Mingpao Forum Page, fits it readily into a colonial/post-colonial discourse. But how much such a discourse helps illuminate the incident, except that it might echo readily the sort of language which many readers here are used to speaking, I cannot quite tell. Let me start my reflections with a few questions.

HK, this little city, had experienced no less upheaval in the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, than any other part of the world, with people coming and going, settling and enterprising, making revolutions and making money, broadcasting traditional Chinese tales and importing Beatles and suchlike; they who had suffered so much in the wars of 1937-1945, or the political movements and purges early under the People's Republic, had come to HK with a sense of history, I dare say, no less strong, if not indeed stronger, than most of them involved in the Star Ferry incident of late; and they who had grown up in this little city, who had, from their childhood forth, listened to Tian Kong Xiao Shuo and watched the various kinds of TV programs, much reflective of local life and culture (but connected in most cases with the historical experience of the Southern China cultural sphere), had likewise a strong sense of history, a sense which did not express itself on textbooks, but in the way these souls related their experience to the past, to little things in the collective memory.

When I look back to the 30s, or 40s, or 50s and 60s, I do not find a widespread want of historical sense; but, quite the contrary, a strong sense of continuity, both spatial (connected with the Mainland) and temporal (connected with events in the past). Tradition was alive and well; artistic creation flourishing; and cultural evolution not viewed as antagonistic to social development, even if that development entailed demolitions. People were deeply historical; but their sense of history was not concentrated on one or two artifacts; nor did they protest so much against the demolition of this or that (partly, you might say, because they were under colonial rule; but more significantly they, finding their tradition alive and well, were not afraid to see one old building replaced by a new one, continuity being not thereby destroyed). When a tradition is living, demolition and innovation are rarely deemed a threat to it.

If what I pointed to is partly right, then, reader, I would you reflect, whether a strong sense of history must needs lead to a strong urge to preserve tangible things. If what is to be preserved, respected, or even revived, is a set of memories accompanying a way of living, a set of images and values, allusions and judgments, the sustaining of which being at the heart of any talk of cultural continuity; if this be so, then why, I would wonder, are we today no less ready to mark this or that old-fashioned, trying to distance ourselves therefrom, if not even to ridicule it tacitly, while, in another place, finding ourselves so enthusiastically embracing an old (indeed, one might say, old-fashioned) artifact?

Words fail to express my deep nostalgia for an era, when even a newsreporter for sports news (he having recently published a book entitled "The Ball is Round") would endeavor to pronounce every word as correctly as he could, imposing on himself a standard, which today not very many students would. I have mentioned Tian Kong Xiao Shuo; who today would look back to that wonderful achievement, to that wonderful era of cultural prosperity, with the express aim of emulating it? If culture it is, that we want to preserve, then culture, we should say, is not just touristically a collection of artifacts, to be kept, catalogued, and made an object of study. One can preserve all the artifacts, while, knowingly or not, killing the very soul of a culture; and the soul is always the most intangible (and fragile) part.

Many commentators have an inexplicable desire to take colonial rule as the root cause of all evils observable today, including, as their prime example, the want of a sense of history in this little city. Yet, if they permit the phrase "sense of history" to cover more than the sheer desire to preserve artifacts, these commentators, I am quite sure, would easily detect what they said wanting in the many generations who had dwelled here, up until, perhaps, the 80s.

On the whole, I gather that users of the phrase "sense of history" have looked too particularly at one quarter of life, at one set of things, and, so looking, appealed too quickly to a well-developed discourse (colonial/post-colonial), which happens to be a very fashionable set of labels today among cultural studies people. If we may confidently say, that there must be such British civil servants, as would give not a single thought to preserving cultural artifacts, we probably should be somewhat more meticulous, before saying straightway, that the seeming unwillingness of HK AOs to do the same must be the fruit of colonial indoctrination.

These are preliminary reflections, unworthy yet of an independent essay; though, still, I should like to register them here, perhaps trying them out on a few interested souls.

1 留言:

Eric 'Spanner' 說...

咦,雖則魯金、葉靈鳳和吳昊的香港掌故書籍未成書局十大暢銷書,但這些書為保留香港舊事,也立了至少一點功勞吧。彭志銘的廣州話正字不論,他開的次文化堂這幾年陸續發行了《絕書》、《失傳》、《奇廟》和《老鹹書》,都是香港舊事錄。

另,姑勿論壹傳媒做了多少壞事,旗下《飲食男女》週六號的〈老字號〉,也是保留香港中小企商業史的一例。我多月以來都希望壹出版將此欄發行單行本,蔡瀾黎智英楊懷康等的結集,已是不少了,畀o的新口味我o地得唔得?唔得,打封e-mail先。