From Kung Fu Tea - When Did Wing Chun Become “Intangible Cultural Heritage”?

Xue Sheng

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It is no secret that I like Wing Chun, even trained it a few times, and if not for Taijiquan and Xingyiquan, I likely would have trained it a lot more. And if the guy I talked to a few month back ever decided to relocate here and teach, I would likely go give it another try (he is a Chinese student, learned in Hong Kong, student of Ip Chun)

Came across this article and thought the Wing Chun contingent of MT might find it interesting

Article: From Kung Fu Tea - When Did Wing Chun Become “Intangible Cultural Heritage”?

This bring us to the question that I posed in the title of this article. When exactly did Wing Chun come to be understood (by at least some individuals) as an intangible cultural practice? After all, those weren’t terms that Ip Chun (or anyone else) used in interviews in the 1990s. And what are the implications of this for the future development of the art?

Kung Fu Tea website
 

Marnetmar

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What the heck is "Intangible cultural heritage" supposed to mean
 

geezer

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What the heck is "Intangible cultural heritage" supposed to mean

Yeah, and besides, how can a "hands-on" art like Wing Chun be "intangible". It's all about contact. How can you touch the intangible?

Whoa...
giphy.gif


That would be like ...touching nothingness, or touching the void.

...which by the way, was a really intense movie.
 

APL76

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What the heck is "Intangible cultural heritage" supposed to mean
It is a pretty important idea floating around when groups like UNESCO get involved with indigenous/marginal/threatened peoples. What it essentially refers to is anything related to a group of people that is an immaterial element of their culture. It comes up in my research all the time (I'm an anthropologist with training wheels).

In a wing chun context if you think of the overall system of Wing Chun as an element of intangible culture a wooden dummy, pole or the butterfly knives would be the tangible cultural heritage. Intangible= the system of wing chun, the principals, the techniques etc. the tangible is the material aspects of the system= dummy weapons.
 

jobo

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It is a pretty important idea floating around when groups like UNESCO get involved with indigenous/marginal/threatened peoples. What it essentially refers to is anything related to a group of people that is an immaterial element of their culture. It comes up in my research all the time (I'm an anthropologist with training wheels).

In a wing chun context if you think of the overall system of Wing Chun as an element of intangible culture a wooden dummy, pole or the butterfly knives would be the tangible cultural heritage. Intangible= the system of wing chun, the principals, the techniques etc. the tangible is the material aspects of the system= dummy weapons.
a dummy that looks like a clothes rack would not be tangible, with out the intangible elements of wing Chun, it would just be a clothes rack.
 

Danny T

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a dummy that looks like a clothes rack would not be tangible, with out the intangible elements of wing Chun, it would just be a clothes rack.
That would be only if one uses it as a clothes rack. Just because it looks like a clothes rack to a person doesn't mean it is.
Same as; just because someone looks like a clown that doesn't make them a comical performer.
 
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Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

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That would be only if one uses it as a clothes rack. Just because it looks like a clothes rack to a person doesn't mean it is.
Same as; just because someone looks like a clown that doesn't make them a comical performer.

True, we had the creepy clown thing in my area a little over a year ago.... I called them "out of work Bozos" :D
 

jobo

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True, we had the creepy clown thing in my area a little over a year ago.... I called them "out of work Bozos" :D
that's an evil clown , we had the clown thing here as well, it all stopped when people started putting banana skins in their drive ways
 

APL76

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a dummy that looks like a clothes rack would not be tangible, with out the intangible elements of wing Chun, it would just be a clothes rack.
Pyramids in Egypt, are they just piles of rocks or Ancient Egyptian pyramid shaped tombs? There is no Ancient Egyptian intangible culture any more yet the pyramids are still pyramids and old tombs. Very basically Its simply a division between material elements of culture and the immaterial elements of culture.
 

jobo

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Pyramids in Egypt, are they just piles of rocks or Ancient Egyptian pyramid shaped tombs? There is no Ancient Egyptian intangible culture any more yet the pyramids are still pyramids and old tombs. Very basically Its simply a division between material elements of culture and the immaterial elements of culture.
well there both ?

theres no such thing as a material element of culture, all culture is intangable.
culture is only in the mind of the observer, if the observer places no cultural significance to an object, its has no significance, the fairly ancient Egyptians stripped all the cover stones off to use in other building as the pyramids had no cultural significance to them, they wernt a pile of rocks ,they were a pile of building material
 
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APL76

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well there both ?

theres no such thing as a material element of culture, all culture is intangable.
culture is only in the mind of the observer, if the observer places no cultural significance to an object, its has no significance, the fairly ancient Egyptians stripped all the cover stones off to use in other building as the pyramids had no cultural significance to them, they wernt a pile of rocks ,they were a pile of building material

Archaeologists literally refer to the stuff they dig up as "material culture". Of course there are material elements to culture, the intangible stuff is culture as a process, as the stuff that helps us make sense of the world and how we fit into it, what allows us to make meaning in and of the world. Analytically they can be divided into separate types of culture. The intangible cultural heritage is the stuff that lives in people, the tangible stuff is the material manifestation of that culture. That could be a clay pot, a sarcophagus or a wooden dummy.
 

jobo

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Archaeologists literally refer to the stuff they dig up as "material culture". Of course there are material elements to culture, the intangible stuff is culture as a process, as the stuff that helps us make sense of the world and how we fit into it, what allows us to make meaning in and of the world. Analytically they can be divided into separate types of culture. The intangible cultural heritage is the stuff that lives in people, the tangible stuff is the material manifestation of that culture. That could be a clay pot, a sarcophagus or a wooden dummy.
I'm pretty sure they call them artifacts, att least if they are not trying to increase their sense of self importance by calling old pots material culture

so go on then how does an oold pot,manifest culture, a pot or infact any ina m8nate object is incapable of any autonomous action including manifestation?
 

APL76

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I'm pretty sure they call them artifacts, att least if they are not trying to increase their sense of self importance by calling old pots material culture

so go on then how does an oold pot,manifest culture, a pot or infact any ina m8nate object is incapable of any autonomous action including manifestation?

Well when I learned archaeology they did indeed call artefacts material culture, and indeed there are entire cultures named after the distinctive clay pots that they made; for example:

Beaker culture - Wikipedia

An artefact doesn't need to be capable of any autonomous action to be a material representation of a culture.
 

geezer

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It is a pretty important idea floating around when groups like UNESCO get involved with indigenous/marginal/threatened peoples.

Great answer. Pardon my previous snarkiness! Actually, social anthropology was my undergraduate major a million years ago, so I´m not totally clueless. Mostly, but not totally. So, not to derail the thread or anything, but are you going on for a PhD. and career in the field?
 

APL76

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Great answer. Pardon my previous snarkiness! Actually, social anthropology was my undergraduate major a million years ago, so I´m not totally clueless. Mostly, but not totally. So, not to derail the thread or anything, but are you going on for a PhD. and career in the field?

Yeah; I'm way too many years (9) into a PhD, mostly extended by firstly suffering near debilitating chronic back injury/infection (2012-2018- now gradually recovering), and secondly lecturing near full time for the last couple of years being the only bread winner in my household.

As for career??? I am getting really sick of living from contract to contract with no guarantees of having a new contract at the end of the old one. My brother is also doing a PhD but has a full time research job with the government and his full time employment and fat juicy pay cheque both look pretty good to me at the moment. I just haven quite given up on a research/teaching career quite just yet.
 

mograph

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As for career??? I am getting really sick of living from contract to contract with no guarantees of having a new contract at the end of the old one.
Sorry to hear -- I've taught in the college system in Ontario. This precarious employment business is the worst. Okay, we can give up the idea of tenure, but maybe a five-year contract would be nice?
 

geezer

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Sorry to hear -- I've taught in the college system in Ontario. This precarious employment business is the worst. Okay, we can give up the idea of tenure, but maybe a five-year contract would be nice?

Yeah, my dream career choice was to go into academics too. Got a couple of part time gigs, then got married and started a family. One of my kids was born with a heart condition. I had to get a regular job with insurance. No universal care down here in the States, you know. So that meant teaching high school. What the heck. Working with kids is fun and it pays the bills. The downside is dealing with an abundance of administrative idiocy and (in Arizona) really low wages.
 
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