Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our Hong Kong Identity

Why do so many of us still identify ourselves more with Hong Kong than with China, while we have so many complaints about things in Hong Kong?  Is it because in Hong Kong, at least,

  1. We can commemorate June 4 and not be afraid of being sent to prison?
  2. We can criticize the government and not be afraid of being sent to prison?
  3. We can entertain a reasonable hope of universal suffrage in open and fair elections, even though we are not quite there yet?
  4. We can come and go freely without being afraid our passports might be confiscated?
  5. We can openly confess and practice our faith and not be afraid of being sent to prison?
  6. We can be reasonably sure that our police are clean and fair, and distinguishable from thugs?
  7. Our professors do not call other people turtle eggs and dogs simply because these other people do not speak the professors’ dialect?
  8. When we have grievances against the rich and powerful, we can be reasonably sure the courts will judge our cases fairly? 
  9. When someone becomes very rich, we can be reasonably sure that she has earned the money legally and not through corruption, even if not always completely fairly?
  10. People line up automatically for buses and do not try to cut in front of others?


YTSL said...

Kung hei fat choi, Stephen.

And re the things you listed in your post: they are indeed things for Hong Kongers to be grateful for -- and why many concerned denizens of "the fragrant harbour" identify themselves with Hong Kong rather than China.

Something to add: I think there for some years, decades even, Hong Kong had a unique position -- not only as where east and west meets/met but, also, as the spiritual/cultural headquarters/center for overseas Chinese. Put another way: it does have a different cultural as well as political history -- and place in the world -- from other parts of China. And that is what makes it distinctively Hong Kong.

StephenC said...

Happy New Year to you too, YTSL,

Agreed with you on the unique HK culture. For a long time HK has been criticized of being a culture desert, referring to its lack of literary prowess.

However, as you mentioned, in terms of culture - broadly defined - HK is very distinctive in a desirable manner.