沉香与香港

宋代蘇頌撰著《圖經本草》(西元1062年)記載:“沉香、青桂、茅香,出海南諸國及交、廣、崖州。”蔡絛在《鐵圍山叢談》中說:“占城不若真臘,真臘不若海南黎洞。黎洞又以萬安黎母山東峒者,冠絕天下,謂之海南沉香,一片萬錢。”可見當時海南沉香已負有盛名,價格昂貴。 據說宋朝年間,東莞地區已普遍種植土沉香,成為當地的地方特產。故沉香又被稱為“莞香”,是在中國樹木中惟一以東莞地方命名的樹木。古時香港屬東莞管轄,那時的香港也曾大量種植土沉香,然後製成琥珀狀、半透明的香塊,農民將其從陸路運到尖沙頭(即尖沙咀),用舢舨運往石排灣(即香港仔),再轉運至內地及東南亞,甚至遠及阿拉伯等地。因運香販香而聞名,石排灣這個港口便被外國人稱為“香港”,即“香的港口”,後來,“香港”更成為了整個海島的名稱。

1997年香港回归,深港两地青年在深圳仙湖植物园按中国版图图形共同种下的1997棵“土沉香”,庆祝香港回归祖国怀抱

The relationship between agarwood and the history of Hong Kong is intertwined. In the early days, Aquilaria sinensis trees were planted in Hong Kong and incense traders would make them into incense and exported them to various provinces in China, Asia, even as far as Arabia. Hong Kong was actually an important port for incense trading. “Hong” means “incense” or “fragrant ” and “Kong” is “harbour”; thus Hong Kong literally means “Incense or Fragrant Harbour” in Chinese. It is with its production and trading of agarwood that Hong Kong has played an important role in global cultural interactions.

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