The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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Department News
Congratulations to the recipients of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Scholarship for Outstanding Student in Chinese History

Our undergraduate Year 1 students, CHAN Ka Ho, WU Sin Yan, YAU Pok To and LEUNG Yuen Yee were each awarded the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Scholarship for Outstanding Student in Chinese History.

The Scholarships are offered by Endeavour Education Centre Limited and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited. Ka Ho, Sin Yan, Pok To and Yuen Yee were among the 10 awardees based on their outstanding DSE result in Chinese history. They attended the award presentation ceremony held on 28 November 2017 at 70/F of Bank of China Tower, 1 Garden Road, and each received a scholarship of HK$50,000.

Ms WONG Chiu Yan will leave the Department on 6 December 2017. We would like to extend our appreciation to Yan for her contributions to the Graduate Division of History.

Ms. Jennifer CHEUNG will assist with the work of the MA Programme in Comparative and Public History while Ms. Fiona CHAN will assist with the work of the RPg Programme with effect from 6 December 2017.

Academic Activities
Recapping the Public Lectures on History 2017-18 “中國的摩登時代:上海和香港的文學和歷史” delivered by Prof. Leo LEE Ou Fan and Prof. LEUNG Yuen Sang at the Hong Kong Central Library on 23 November 2017
Prof. Leo LEE Ou Fan, Sin Wai Kin Professor of Chinese Culture, and Prof. LEUNG Yuen Sang, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, delivered the Public Lectures on 23 November 2017, which attracted an audience of some 180 people.

Prof. LEE and Prof. LEUNG talked about the relationship between Shanghai and Hong Kong, and looked into the literature and history of two places.
Recapping the academic seminar “Regional Patterns and Interaction of the Iron Industry during the Warring-States and Western Han Period: A Brief Discussion on the “Market” in Early China” conducted by Prof. LAM Weng Cheong on 24 November 2017

Prof. LAM Weng Cheong discussed the concept of “market/bazaar” in the historical narratives through a review of the studies of Karl Polanyi, Peter Bang, M.I. Finley etc. He then examined the circulation of iron objects based on the quantity of iron objects excavated from tombs and iron foundry sites in the Warring-States and Western Han, pointing out the relationship between the popularity of iron objects and trade in the early period. Prof. LAM also used pottery and characters on pottery to analyse the pattern of circulation of pottery in the Warring-States and Western Han and offered further proof of the market condition in early China.

Upcoming Events

Lecture Series on Comparative and Public History: In Search of Popular Culture in Hong Kong

The lecture series is co-organised by the MA Programme in Comparative and Public History, Department of History, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Museum of History. The following lectures will be held on Saturdays in January 2018 at the Lecture Hall, G/F, Hong Kong Museum of History:

First Lecture

Date : 13 January 2018 (Saturday)
Time : 3:00pm–5:00pm
Topic : Gamble and Gambling Farmers in Late Qing Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau
Speakers :
Prof. HO Hon Wai
Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica

Second Lecture

Date : 20 January 2018 (Saturday)
Time : 3:00pm–5:00pm
Topic : Popular Culture under Colonial Governance: Dragon Boat Races in Hong Kong
Speaker : Dr. MA Muk Chi

Third Lecture

Date : 27 January 2018 (Saturday)
Time : 3:00pm–5:00pm
Topic : Looking at Animals in Hong Kong: From Circus Shows to Zoos
Speaker : Prof. POON Shuk Wah

The lectures will be conducted in Cantonese. No reservation is needed. Seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis. For enquiry, please call 3943 8659.

Confronting Predicament: The Mentality and Patterns of Behavior of
Chinese Intellectuals in the Second Millennium
25-26 May 2018

About this Workshop
The workshop focuses on the mental and social reactions of Chinese intellectuals in great periods of transformation during imperial and modern China. It attempts to provide early-career historians, social scientists, and researchers from different fields a chance to share findings on the cutting-edge theme of the history of Chinese intellectuals. The workshop is also open to research students and the learned public. Papers of relevance to the following four themes are welcomed:

1) Rise of neo-Confucianism and its influence on the mentality of traditional scholars
2) Changing mentality and patterns of behavior of Chinese intellectuals in times of crisis
3) Transition in the mentality of contemporary Chinese intellectuals: global capitalism, state power, and cultural identity
4) Formation and transformation of intellectual communities in modern China

Important Dates

31 December 2017 Paper proposals, CV and a 300-500 word abstract (in English or Chinese)
be emailed to
15 January 2018 Notification of accepted proposals
1 April 2018 Submission of full papers

Organisers: Department of History, CUHK; Faculty of Arts, CUHK; Department of History, Hong Kong Baptist University; Webster University


How do people celebrate Christmas in different countries?

Christmas is coming to town! Let's take a look how Christmas is celebrated around the world!

Asia: China
Although Christmas is not a public holiday in China, it is common to see beautiful decorations on the streets. People celebrate Christmas in Chinese-culture style such as having Christmas red pockets. They also like to exchange apples as Christmas gifts because “apple” and “Christmas Eve” are homonyms in Chinese.

Source: Epoch Times, 2012-12-26

Asia: Japan
In 1974, Japan KFC launched an advertising campaign during Christmas and succeeded in making “Christmas party buckets” a national custom. Since then, many Japanese families like to have KFC chicken as Christmas dinners and they have to order bucket meals weeks or even months in advance.

Source:, 2016-12-25

Africa: Egypt
Egyptian Christians are called Copts, meaning "Christians in Egypt”. Christmas in Egypt is called Coptic Christmas Day and is celebrated on 7 January instead of 25 December. Copts have to be vegetarian for 45 days until Coptic Christmas Day.

Source: Ming Pao, 2014-01-10

Europe: Sweden
Swedes prepare four candles one month before Christmas and burn one every week. Christmas comes when the last candle is lit. Watching Disney's special television programme at 3 pm on 24 December has been Swedes’ unique Christmas activity since 1959.

Source:, 2016-01-18; VJMedia, 2014-12-28

Americas: Mexico
Mexicans celebrate Christmas with a parody show called posada. Two people dress up as Mary and Joseph, respectively, and seek permission to enter houses by singing songs. House owners respond with songs and open their doors in the end to welcome the arrival of Mary.

Source:, 2014-12-09

Oceania: Australia
For Australians, Christmas is not a snow festival but a summer carnival. They have may ways to celebrate but climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Santa Claus is traditional event during Christmas. Santa Claus has his photo taken with climbers at the top of the bridge.

Source: BridgeClimb Sydney

Best wishes from the Department.
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2017!

The newsletter will resume on 8 January 2018.

For teachers and students who have information to share with the Department, please email your articles in both Chinese and English to by 4:00pm every Tuesday.