Following on from our trip to the city’s oldest barber shop, we continue our exploration of the heritage of Hong Kong by paying a visit to Sister May of Kam Fat Mahjong. An instantly recognizable and undeniably nostalgic sound to native Hongkongers, the click-clacking of mahjong tiles as they are shuffled can be found emanating from open windows around the whole city — a sound that finds its origin in the open-front workshop of Sister May, tucked under a staircase in the Hung Hom district. Using generations-old, but surprisingly ingenious tools, the craftswoman has been plying her trade for some 40 odd years, hand-carving the same 42 tile designs of a standard mahjong set since the age of 13. While we were there, Sister May filled us in on the history of her 53 year-old shop and her thoughts on the future of her craft, while demonstrating to us the deceivingly simply, yet precise process of creating a mahjong tile.
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