An application for UN world heritage site designation for the Kaiping diaolou 開 平 碉 樓 was made in 2004.
I was honoured to have joined the worldwide effort in supporting the designation of the Kaiping diaolou to be recognized as a UNESCO World cultural heritage site.
A wonderfully enlightening collaboration – with local peoples and government in China, Academics, historians, and descendants like myself.
My family was particularly honoured with the Canadian effort which used our ancestral village’s diaolou as the poster face for the effort!
On June 28, 2007, an official announcement of a successful World Heritage site designation was delivered in New Zealand. A media conference was convened the same day in Vancouver, Canada, to share the news.
After 8 long years… a world wide collaborativeeffort was a success!
The other wonderful news the same day was that Canada’s own Rideau Canal also made the UNESCO World Heritage status.
A very nice touch for our 2007 Canada Day weekend!
It made newspaper headlines all over the place, with the Singtao newspaper frontpage headlines gracing the entire cover with our family diaolou story, and again in our Nation’s paper the Globe and Mail. Trés cool, eh?
Off the top of my head, Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC , MLA Jenny Kwan, MP Olivia Chow, Gabriel Yiu, Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe, UBC Museum of Anthropology, and many, many others around our small world, including Dr. David Lung of Hong Kong University, former Washington state governor, Gary Locke who graced the info CD and book!
For those who are interested in this part of our history, please contact me (ideas@ generasian.ca).
I’d like to share information on this legacy recognizing the strong historic link between the pioneer Chinese men and women of Canada and the US, with their ancestral homelands of Kaiping, Taishan, Enping and Xinhui.