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Macau Unlocked: A Journey of Discovery for Students

Macau Unlocked: A Journey of Discovery for Students 2023-2024

5J Janice Yeung

Filled with excitement and nervousness, I entered a classroom in the office of the South China Morning Post for a writing class that would prepare me for my trip to Macau. As I sat down, I looked across the table at another student. Feeling shy, I quickly shifted my gaze. The speaker in charge quickly started us off with a warm-up game, after which, we were given some notes about skills for city reporting. Skills like observation were essential — we needed to pay attention to specific details, not only looking at a person or buildings but also seeing beyond that and looking for emotions evoked and potential story ideas. Shortly after we applied the newly learnt skills using three AI-generated photos.

We observed the details, felt the emotions, and used our imagination to develop a story that could have happened. To my surprise, the emotions and stories evoked were different for each group member. All we can do is to follow our thoughts in mind and jot them down, no one would put a cross on it because a million ideas can be created within one simple picture. After the observation exercise, we formed groups and were tasked with designing a story related to cultural heritage or sustainability.

My partner, Matthew, immediately thought of the Hong Kong Dragon Dance. Our story was about an American-born Chinese cultural enthusiast, Timothy, trying to learn Tai Hang dragon dance, with the aim of bringing this precious art back to his hometown. We, then all had the chance to share our stories with some even sounding like a movie’s plot! The writing class ended on a high note. We not only gained useful skills in storytelling but also got a chance to meet new friends from other schools located in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island! Macau Unlocked: A Journey of Discovery for Students 2023-2024 5J Matthew Wong Join me now on our tour to Macau — the follow-up to the writing activity held on the premises of the SCMP. Macau is certainly a blend of cultures, and I was totally impressed by the perfect balance of Chinese and Western culture. One solid proof is the Ruins of St. Paul’s and the Na Tcha Temple which are situated in the same area. One represents the mark left by the Portuguese, who came to Macau as Catholic missionaries or merchants, and the other symbolizes the strong belief in Chinese immortals, a part of the Macanese culture. Amazingly, these two seemingly incompatible buildings not only co-exist together, but also do so harmoniously. There aren’t many places in the world where you could enjoy Chinese and Western culture on the same street, a sight to behold in Macau.

Apart from the cultural aspect, I was also intrigued by the sustainability concept in this tour. During our visit to the Macau Tea Culture Museum, we had the opportunity to attend a sharing session by Chazence, a company that specializes in upcycling used tea leaves into necessities like utensils and furniture. It was great that that the organizer was able to take “tea culture” to another level and they incorporated sustainability concepts. The link from appreciating the art of tea drinking to the history of this practice in Macau to sustainability was a marvel in itself. Culture could be aesthetic and eco-friendly simultaneously, and the work done by Chazence is a demonstration of this fact.

The visit to the Macao Grand Prix Museum was the highlight for me. Being able to drive in the Formula 3 simulator and learning more about the legends in car racing was certainly enjoyable and thrilling. Of course, let’s not forget the food, especially the codfish cake – the bacalhau a bras. Yummy!

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