Chee Meng Wong, Singapore
"Intangible Cultural Heritage of Dance as Medium for Intercultural Dialogue: Culture Assimilator Re-interpreted" (working title)
Supervisor: Prof. Marie-Theres Albert
This research explores intercultural dialogue in a culturally diverse nation, using intangible cultural heritage as medium. It re-interprets the ‘Culture Assimilator’ advanced by German social psychologist Alexander Thomas as a conceptual tool, adapting his understanding of culture as open system to consider heritage as an intercultural process for negotiation of social values through dialogue. The Indian dance heritage in Singapore is used as example.
Chee Meng WONG first graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics and Chinese Studies. He then worked as a translator and journalist covering the performing arts, education and other local news, before going freelance as a research writer for various archival projects. He first came to the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) Cottbus to pursue an M.A. in World Heritage Studies, and wrote a thesis on cultural differences in heritage concepts, with the medieval town of Quedlinburg as a case study. Upon returning to Singapore, he worked in the promotion of Indian classical music and dance and was actively involved in arts education. As a supporter of the civil society in Singapore, he has been engaged in discussions and initiatives on issues such as racism and censorship.