Wednesday, October 03, 2007

ShekKipMei Resettlement Area 石硤尾徙置區

This picture of the entrance to a “unit” in one of the 石硤尾徙置大廈 was taken in August 2006. Most of the residents have already moved out from the building, with just a few hold-outs. Now I believe all residents have been moved out and the buildings are being demolished. Each unit is really just a single room – no kitchen or toilet inside.

That’s why this women had to do the cutting and cooking outside. I never lived in one of these buildings but many of my friends did. There was a public toilet on each floor. The smallest units were about 10 square meters (~100 square feet), typically with a family of four or more living inside. For many years, my family’s accommodation was slightly better, but just slightly. Many of my relatives and friends, like many other Hong Kong people, lived in worst.

Most of my friends and relatives have moved out and also moved up in terms of living comfort. Yet there is still a sizable underclass in Hong Kong. Our former places in society are now occupied mainly by new immigrants. Hong Kong has become more prosperous as a society. Yet there are still many people left behind.

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