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监制:Chung Ka Wai


Cultural Heritage-The Land - a series of 8 episodes focus on the geographical beauty of mainland China.

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08/09/2018
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As the largest freshwater lake in China, Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake is “as vast as the sky”, according to a depiction by YANG Wanli, a poet of the Southern Song Dynasty. The lake is a junction where the five major rivers in Jiangxi – namely Gan River, Fu River, Xin River, Rao River and Xiushui River – converge before entering Yangtze River through Hukou. Therefore, the rise and fall in the water level of Yangtze River affect Poyang Lake directly. With the higher water level of Yangtze River in summer from April to September every year, the lake remains in the state of “an expanse in the wet season”, spanning over 3 500 square kilometres. However, in autumn and winter from October to March of next year, the river’s lowered water level is followed by a flow of water from the lake to the river, which causes the total surface area of the lake to shrink to less than 200 square kilometres. It is the time when the lake transforms into numerous streams and small lakes, and appears as “a line in the dry season”. This rare geographical phenomenon of “an expanse in the wet season, a line in the dry season” is precisely a major feature of Poyang Lake.

During the dry season, the drop in the lake’s water level reveals an immense wetland, which serves as a nurturing ground for a rich collection of species including fish, shrimps, conches, mussels and various kinds of waterweeds, maintaining biodiversity. In addition, the wetland also becomes a paradise for migrating birds to stay in winter. Of the around 148 types of birds in the area, 20 of them are nationally protected, for example, the endangered species Grus leucogeranus and Ciconia nigra. Poyang Lake’s wetland was thus listed as a “globally significant wetland” in 1992. A wetland reserve has been established there with bird caretakers. Many members of the public, even including farmers whose crops are eaten by migrating birds, understand the importance of providing these birds with attention and care.

The fishing industry at Poyang Lake dates back to a long time ago. Throughout history, its abundant, fresh, quality fish resources have fed generations of lakeside inhabitants and given rise to fisherman customs and cultures infused with characteristics of Poyang Lake. Even though urban development is leading to a diminishing number of fishermen, their traditions such as fishermen’s songs and yugu drums stay alive and share the air with Poyang Lake.

Assistant Producer: Mandy KWOK
Producer: Carrie WONG

重温

CATCHUP
07 - 09
2018
RTHK 31
  • Epi8 Water as Vast as the Sky

    Epi8 Water as Vast as the Sky

    As the largest freshwater lake in China, Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake is “as vast as the sky”, according to a depiction by YANG Wanli, a poet of the Southern Song Dynasty. The lake is a junction where the five major rivers in Jiangxi – namely Gan River, Fu River, Xin River, Rao River and Xiushui River – converge before entering Yangtze River through Hukou. Therefore, the rise and fall in the water level of Yangtze River affect Poyang Lake directly. With the higher water level of Yangtze River in summer from April to September every year, the lake remains in the state of “an expanse in the wet season”, spanning over 3 500 square kilometres. However, in autumn and winter from October to March of next year, the river’s lowered water level is followed by a flow of water from the lake to the river, which causes the total surface area of the lake to shrink to less than 200 square kilometres. It is the time when the lake transforms into numerous streams and small lakes, and appears as “a line in the dry season”. This rare geographical phenomenon of “an expanse in the wet season, a line in the dry season” is precisely a major feature of Poyang Lake.

    During the dry season, the drop in the lake’s water level reveals an immense wetland, which serves as a nurturing ground for a rich collection of species including fish, shrimps, conches, mussels and various kinds of waterweeds, maintaining biodiversity. In addition, the wetland also becomes a paradise for migrating birds to stay in winter. Of the around 148 types of birds in the area, 20 of them are nationally protected, for example, the endangered species Grus leucogeranus and Ciconia nigra. Poyang Lake’s wetland was thus listed as a “globally significant wetland” in 1992. A wetland reserve has been established there with bird caretakers. Many members of the public, even including farmers whose crops are eaten by migrating birds, understand the importance of providing these birds with attention and care.

    The fishing industry at Poyang Lake dates back to a long time ago. Throughout history, its abundant, fresh, quality fish resources have fed generations of lakeside inhabitants and given rise to fisherman customs and cultures infused with characteristics of Poyang Lake. Even though urban development is leading to a diminishing number of fishermen, their traditions such as fishermen’s songs and yugu drums stay alive and share the air with Poyang Lake.

    Assistant Producer: Mandy KWOK
    Producer: Carrie WONG

    08/09/2018
  • Epi7 People of Mount Danxia

    Epi7 People of Mount Danxia

    Mount Danxia is located at the Renhua County of Shaoguan City in Guangdong Province in China, it was designated by the UNESCO as one of the first batch of World Geoparks in 2004 and listed as a World Heritage in 2010.

    “When vesper advents, chromatic cloud sets ablaze from the valley, tinted with the colour of Lilium concolor that shines like twilight.” - Ming Jiajing Nanyang Fuzhi Jiaozhu

    Mount Danxia is one of the most famous tourist attractions in China visited continuously by countless tourists who come all the way just to admire the grotesque mountain scenery. The most well-known scenic spots among the landscapes are “Yangyuanshi (Male Stone)” and “Yinyuanshi (Female Stone)” which bear a remarkable resemblance to their bodily counterparts! Although the name “Danxia” is familiar and reputable, has anyone ever noticed the culture behind such fame?

    The term “Danxia Landform” was born in 1928 when FENG Jinglan, a Chinese geologist, named the reddish sedimentary strata of gravel as “Danxia Layer”. Since then, scholars in the Mainland have been studying this peculiar landform. Danxia Landform is mainly distributed in the Northwest and Southwest of China, Western America, Central Europe, Australia, etc. among which China accounted the most. Among over one thousand areas with Danxia Landform found in China, Mount Danxia named after “Danxia Landform” was hailed as an area with “the most typical development, the greatest variety, and the most exquisite landscapes”.

    About 70 to 140 million years ago, Mount Danxia in Guangdong Province used to be a large inland basin. After several ascensions and erosion brought about by the Mother Nature, the basin had transformed into the red peaks we see today. The entire “Great Danxia” area, including the vast untapped areas, covers a total area of 292 km2, wherein more than 680 rock peaks, walls, pillars, etc. of various sizes and shapes can be found. Having witnessed such astounding scenery, our forefathers named different spots on Mount Danxia using their imagination that enlivened such places. For example, the “Chahufeng (Teapot Peak)”, one of the iconic spots of Mount Danxia, was named for its resemblance to red clay teapot, and it is also a literal demonstration of the topographical features of Mount Danxia, i.e., “flat top, steep face and gentle piedmont”.

    The saying “where there is a mountain, there is a village; where there is a village, there is a door; where there is a door, there is precipitousness” vividly describes the unique culture of mountain village on Mount Danxia. People in former times employed the precipitous terrain of Mount Danxia and dwelled in constructs made of stones in natural grottos or on cliff tops. It is said that there are more than 100 ancient mountain fortified villages strewn across Mount Danxia which are referred to as the “108 Mountain Fortified Villages of Mount Danxia”. The origin of fortified villages on Mount Danxia can be traced back to Han Dynasty. Since eons ago, Mount Danxia had been the territory of Baiyue people, but Emperor Wu of Han marched his army southward for invasion which then drove the Baiyue people who took hold in the South, to Southeast Asia, and as such, the Baiyue people who lived on Mount Danxia moved to its cliffs in avoidance of warfare. Thenceforth, many monks and nuns also came for spiritual practices in reclusion. Nowadays, these mountain fortified villages have been deserted and left in reticence to await those who aspire to uncover their stories.

    Assistant Producer: Mandy KWOK
    Producer: Leo LAI

    01/09/2018
  • Epi6 Dancing with the Rainforest

    Epi6 Dancing with the Rainforest

    With most places in China clouded by smog in recent years, it is fortunate that there is still a piece of pure land in the far southwest of the country. Regarded as the “emerald” on the Northern Tropic, Xishuangbanna remains the most intact tropical rainforest in Mainland China’s ecological system. The warm and humid climate throughout the year with ample sunlight and rain renders it the only oasis in the desert belt of the Northern Tropic, as well as a rare gene pool of flora and fauna. Spanning nearly 20,000 square kilometres, this land is awe-inspiringly home to over 5,000 kinds of tropical plants and animals. Buttress roots, ficus gibbosa, parashorea chinensis, peacocks and wild elephants are among the many other meticulous arrangements by Mother Nature in creating the spectacular, unparalleled scenery in Xishuangbanna.

    Situated in the southwest of China, Xishuangbanna is where the country shares borders with Laos and Myanmar. Lancang River, also known as the “Danube of the East”, enters Xishuangbanna in the northwest and runs through the whole area before leaving from the southeast. The part of the river beyond China’s territory is called Mekong River. There are more than 13 ethnic groups residing in the area, with Dai being the most populous. The Dai and the rainforest have been interdependent of each other since thousands of years ago. This luxuriant rainforest is exactly the origin of their lives. As seen from one of their sayings, “With the forest comes water, with water comes farmland, with farmland come crops, and with crops come humans,” they venerate the rainforest as the beginning of everything. In this era of rapid developments, how do the Dai – who have co-existed with the rainforest for generations – maintain a simple lifestyle while safeguarding the Dai cultures passed on by ancestors and the forest behind their home?

    Assistant Producer:Katty CHEUNG
    Producer: Clarissa MA

    25/08/2018
  • Epi5 The Fantastic Canyon

    Epi5 The Fantastic Canyon

    Genghis Khan is a venerated ancestor of the Mongolians. Although the days when Genghis Khan led his hordes of army galloping boisterously can no longer be seen, from a distance, the rocky hill standing among the bevy of mountains at Aolunbulage somehow resemble Genghis Khan in his Mongolian coat armor defending the gateway alone with his life for his people, a scene redolent of his tremendous achievements.

    Aolunbulage is located at Alxa League on the Northwest of Inner Mongolia wherein magnificently roseate rocks, and fantastically grotesque canyons bestrew its surrounding that blow people away in admiration of the Creator’s mind-boggling craftsmanship.

    Aolunbulage Canyon is perched at the Hetao Plain East of Lang Mountain where the Ancient Yellow River Course once lied. Through thousand years of waxing and waning among the traces on earth left by torrential flow of the river, and the marks on rocks imprinted by sand and wind erosion during the arid weather, there arise the sinuous watercourse and canyon that span over tens of kilometres.

    The rocks on both sides of the canyon are either formed by coarse materials that are unconsolidated in nature or fine materials that are consolidated. Through fluvial erosion of the Yellow River in ancient time, the rocks had formed uniformly identical texture with uneven surfaces. The rocks are rich in iron, hence crimson in colour similar to rust glittering under the sunshine. Everything in front of oneself in the canyon swivels in a spiral and dazzles vertiginously as if one has entered a dream world. If one raises his head and looks at the top of the canyon, there shows the evidence of wind erosion that continuously molds the rocks into bizarre shapes as if the scene changes along with every step one takes which is so bewilderingly gorgeous. Through their unbound imagination, the Mongolians even granted visualised names to these rocks, thereby giving them infinite vitality.

    In the past, the pasturers in Aolunbulage led nomadic lives. They called any place with grassland and water their home, took the earth as bed and the sky as blanket. Nowadays, not many of them stay in the pasturing business – even if they still do, they do not live like nomads anymore. Instead, they build their own houses and settle down, making a livelihood mainly by pasturing sheep and camels. They also grow vegetables, which renders them self-sufficient in food and provides extra income when they sell the crops.

    However, Aolunbulage’s arid climate and piercingly cold wind of sand have resulted in an increasing scarcity of places suitable for pasturing. Still, a kind of plant flourishes amid this unforgiving environment – Haloxylon ammodendron. As a variety of shrub, it is usually one to two metres tall, with a maximum height of five or six metres. This plant may not look attractive, but as its roots can hold the soil and sand tightly in place while its twigs and leaves shield soil from the wind, it has been crucial in preventing desertification.

    Haloxylon ammodendron has a stable character. Even with all types of extraordinary canyons and rocks towering behind, it remains undistracted and faces the wind of sand calmly while fulfilling its responsibility of safeguarding the land. This is probably a reflection of how people live in the Aolunbulage area. Living under this kind of condition has trained them to be diligent and enduring in challenges which they strive to overcome. And this gives a sense of reality that touches your heart in a dream-like canyon.

    Assistant Producer: Cindy CHAN
    Producer: Lawrence LEUNG

    18/08/2018
  • Epi4 Mirrors in the Highlands

    Epi4 Mirrors in the Highlands

    Although water is the stream of life, there are barely any signs of life in the salt lake situated in the Qaidam Basin of Qinghai Province. The salinity of the lake water here is higher than that of seawater, thus forming a thick white layer of salt crust on the lake’s surface. When the weather is merry, the blue sky reflects upon the water of Chaka Salt Lake as it does to a mirror, and this is how it comes to be known as the “Mirror of the Sky” in China.

    The place where perched the Qaidam Basin was once a part of the vast ocean eons ago, but diastrophism gave rise to high mountains which later formed the basin wherein the deposition and dehydration of seawater took place by which one after another salt lake was formed. Besides edible salts, the basin is abundant in valuable mineral resources that can be employed for development in aerospace technology, military affairs, medicine, etc. Therefore, highways and modern factories have been constructed in Qaidam Basin, the “cornucopia of resources”, in recent years.

    Although the Mongolian people who live in this arid land of desolation share a place with such treasures, they still follow the nomadic lifestyle of their ancestors and move in pursuit of water and grass. For them, horses are the treasures that matter most. Nevertheless, the red and black goji berries bred by this alkalinity-rich land also bring them wealth.

    It seems that people under the boundless firmament lying above such spacious land always acquire the treasures meant for them.

    Assistant Producer: Mandy KWOK
    Producer: Christine YU

    11/08/2018
  • Epi3 A Floating Wonderland

    Epi3 A Floating Wonderland

    Located at the northwest of Hunan province, Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie has a total area of approximately 397 square kilometres. The region was listed as a World Natural Heritage in 1992 by UNESCO. Mountains in Zhangjiajie appear as pillars, with the three thousands of them seemingly floating in the air, an extraordinary landform named “Zhangjiajie Landform” by the International Association of Geomorphologists in 2010. The area of Zhangjiajie was an ancient ocean about 380 million years ago before a tremendous amount of terrigenous clasts sedimented to form the parent rock of Zhangjiajie – quartz sandstone. Later, deformation of the earth’s crust lifted the area as land. After several million years of erosion by water and wind, mesas were transformed into buttes and peak walls, which then broke into a forest of over three thousand overlapping peaks of peculiar shapes.

    Deep inside the Wuling Mountains is a secluded village of the Tujia ethnic group called Shiyanping Village. Among the population of only over six hundred people, two-thirds of them carry the surname “Quan”. With a history of more than six hundred years, the village preserved numerous stilt houses built during late Qing dynasty that seem to bring us back to the ancient past. The village’s oil pressing plant also dates back to over a century ago. That they still adopt the traditional, manual way of pressing oil is rare in this modern society. Lamentably, the decreasing number of young descendants staying in the village means these ancient village cultures are at risk of being lost.

    The Zhangjiajie Landform has reached its maturity by now after nurture and development. However, no flower can bloom forever, and nothing in nature can escape from withering or ageing. Zhangjiajie is no exception. Perhaps one day she will return to the sea and to the past.

    Assistant Producer: Dorothy YIP
    Producer: Tom CHAN
    Executive Producer: CHUNG Ka-wai

    04/08/2018
  • Epi2 Land of Fire and Ice

    Epi2 Land of Fire and Ice

    The northeastern part of Heilongjiang Province is the coldest area within China where the Wudalianchi volcanic cluster perched at Heihe City covers an area of over 800 km2, which is composed of volcanic cones that taken shape after the eruptions in different periods. With its well-preserved craters, various volcano-tectonic structures, magnificent lava flows, lava seas, etc., it is hailed as a volcanic marvel and was designated by the UNESCO as a World Geopark in 2004.

    Prof. BAI Zhi-da from the School of Earth Sciences and Resources at the China University of Geosciences, says that the volcanos of Wudalianchi volcanic cluster are still regarded as active, and are therefore closely monitored by the China Earthquake Administration. The cluster’s latest volcanic activity occurred in 1719 - 1721 which we can only imagine the consternation of the dwellers nearby who knew nothing about volcanos in the face of a sky overspread by soot and cathartic blares! The eruption that happened 300 years ago was not only documented by words but also gave rise to Mount Laohei and Mount Huoshao. The lava flows effused also segmented Baihe (White River) nearby into five sections which then formed five beaded volcanic barrier lakes, hence the name Wudalianchi (five successive lakes) volcanic cluster.

    The dark volcanic cones offer a stark contrast in vision to the snowcapped Northeast during winter while the volcanic rocks and spring water offer the locals with economic benefits. Legend says that the ancestral hunters of the Daur people went after a wounded deer to the spring next to the volcanos where they discovered the deer healed itself without any medication, they therefore regarded this mineral-rich spring as a medicinal spring for treating illnesses.

    The Daur people originally live in the Stanovoy Range region located on the northern coast of Heilongjiang Province. During the Kangxi period of Qing Dynasty, all Daur people were ordered to migrate south to Nenjiang plain because of the border disputes between the Qing Government and Tsar-Russia, and the place where they initially settled down for agriculture is today’s Aihui District in Heihe City. Even to this day, the Daur people still erect large Ovoos (yurts) in the autonomous village of Aihui District for offering rituals and benediction, which also serve as a symbol of their kind who scattered across China and Russia.

    The Oroqen people were also among those minorities who were ordered to move southward. They live on hunting, and this was why they chose to settle in the Xinsheng Village situated in the forest. Every time before they go uphill for hunting, the Shamans (wizards) in their tribes would guide the clan to worship the God of sky, the God of fire and the God of mountains for luck and abundance. While gun hunting is already forbidden and the Oroqen hunters having become performers for attracting tourists, the traditional roe deer hide crafts of the clan are still well-known throughout the country and have become a cultural heritage on this permafrost land in Heilongjiang Province.

    Assistant Producer: Cindy CHAN
    Producer: Joseph HUNG

    28/07/2018
  • Epi 1 The Sands of Time

    Epi 1 The Sands of Time

    Situated in northwestern China at the centre of Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, Taklamakan Desert covers a total area of approximately 330,000 square kilometres, making it the largest desert in the country and the second largest sand-shifting desert in the world. With little sign of life, long daylight and extremely high temperature, humans can only survive in oases that provide them with water.

    Keriya River means “to drift without settling” in Uyghur. Named for its frequent flow diversion due to seasonal floods, the stream comes from the main peak of the Kunlun Mountain, flowing into Taklamakan Desert from south to north. The river is a nurturing ground both for plants, which give rise to a green corridor in the middle of the desert, and for Keriyan people, who are isolated from the rest of the world.

    In as early as 1896, Swedish expeditioner Sven HEDIN went deep inside the desert, discovering the heritage of Dandan Uiliq and Ka La Dun from Han and Tang Dynasties amid the desert’s vastness. There is an extensive forest of populus euphratica, in which he even met a group of people who lived along the river in the primitive way of grazing. His travel journals became the earliest written record of Keriyan people’s lives.

    With the current population of around 1,500, Keriyan people are among the few groups of Chinese who still reside in the desert. Mainly found in oases near the Keriya River with the distance between households ranging from several to thirty or forty kilometres, these Islamic residents lead simple and unadorned lives. As they have been excluded from the rest of the world for a long period of time, they still keep the habits of their ancestors. Their adaptability to the unforgiving environment is reflected in everything from their lifestyle and food to architectural style and more.

    However, with economic development and construction of highways in Xinjiang, Keriyan people are getting closer to urban areas gradually. As modern cultures and technologies infuse into their everyday life bit by bit, we cannot help but wonder: can we still find traditional Keriyan people amidst the great wide desert after some years?

    Assistant Producer: Dorothy YIP
    Producer: Leo LAI

    21/07/2018
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