My City Profile: Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a very unique island with its own culture and own system. Hong Kong's culture is much of a combination of many; because of its popularity people from all over the world frequently come in and out of Hong Kong like swarms of ants. Because of this constant flow of people all over the world, Hong Kong has adapted a very international culture. It does not really have its own unique individual culture anymore which is not necessarily a good thing...but who cares? everything is about business and if people travel to different places wanting to stay somewhere where they feel "at home" then thats what the place will be shaped into. Besides that point, Hong Kong's business is buzzing with action. There is never a time when everything is silent or calm, people in Hong Kong live off of the rush (not a drug, but the action rushing). One thing that makes Hong kong a great place for business is its efficiency, Hong Kong runs on a very efficient road system. Even though there is a constant flow of traffic people travel all over Hong Kong in a matter of minuets because of the cheap public transportation system.
What did you say about hong Kong's culture?
Hong Kong's culture is very complex and diverse, because of the heavy flow of people coming in from all over the world Hong Kong has developed a very international culture in which people feel most at home. For over 40 years Hong Kong has been working off of it's own system. We have our own government, and our own rules that vary form China's. When a party of people get together a test our rules or make the implication that rules would be taken away (Umbrella revolution) people protest and stand their ground for "their city". I disagree with this statement because I feel as if Hong kong is a community but not a collective one, we are more of a gathering than a community. A community of people usually go by the same rules, work as a community and most of all share the same cultural ways. When taking a closer look at Hong Kong you can see that everyone is segregated (like a high school movie). There are the groups of people from the US, and the groups of people from China who rome around. Then there are the british people and the people from Europe who take over the new territories area. The point i'm getting at is that Hong Kong is very diverse, and its culture is very international. But all the sections that make up Hong Kong don't interact with each other as much.
What's the problem?
Many years ago Hong Kong was made up of little shops and houses, many of which were influenced by the british and therefore adopted a english style to everything. But over time Hong Kong gained its own style of living. Hong Kong had a culture! Because of everybody's close proximity to each other Hong Kong became a very small close community much like the times in the 60s of 70s when everyone lived in the same small neighborhood and everyone knew each other and exactly what everyone else was doing. Hong Kong develop a very unique culture, it became a place that held tons of craftsmen ship and special delicacies form all over the world. Now because of popular demands and business Hong Kong has adapted to become like every other place put into a small island. Hong Kong is said to have some of the greatest food from all over the world, and hosts many famous hotels. The thing that Hong Kong lacks greatly is originality. But that doesn't matter to the people because everyone just wants to fit in.
Quick video about Hong kong's dying culture.
Something so simple as the famous neon signs that Hong Kong use to make are also dying. Now being replaced by fancier posters.
In this video you are able to see the great and unique skill of making glass neon lights. The video made me realize how quickly things can disappear, a few years ago there was a neon glass sign near my house. Today it is no longer there and has been replaced by a marble engraving. To this day it is getting increasingly harder to find these unique signs. It's not only the signs that are disappearing but also the people who make a living off of selling them. Like the old man in the video said, the business of selling these lights was great until people started taking it for granted. Everything is not machine made it does matter, all of the hand crafts like these lights get pushed aside and the people who make them get neglected and sooner or later run out of business.
Maps of Tung Ping Chau
An example of hong kong's cultural deaths
Tung Ping Chau is an island just off the Hong Kong island. It is the only island of Hong Kong made up entirely of sedimentary rocks, even though the island is beautiful, it was used to smuggle drugs and electronics from place to place. The island was also very cut of from the mainland and was hard to get resources, therefore the last resident moved out in 2004. One of the main reasons why the island is now just a pile of sedimentary rocks is due to depopulation; because there was no one there to take care of the place. Half of the buildings in Tung Ping Chau are in bad shape, they are missing a few walls and the insides are trashed. 20.8% of the buildings are in horrible state, most of the walls are in ruins and there are no roofs on them. 16.7% of the houses are in good condition. And finally 12.5% are in okay shape. Most of the building next to the coast (by the sand) are in better shape than the others because there is less foliage near the shore so not as many trees growing in them and also because they have been taken better care of, so that tourists can see building that are in good shape when passing by. The one building that had repair on it was modern repair because it had metal doors.
What could the future be like?
The ideal future for Hong Kong would go along the lines of: "Full of culture, Hong Kong is a great place to experience an environment never experienced before. From unique food to fascinating sites to see, Hong Kong if by far the weirdest place ever!" If I had found a solid way to preserve Hong Kong's culture I would have already informed you. The point of this blog post is to inform you on my crazy ideas such as: I think if we blew everything up and let the people of Hong Kong rebuild it, then Hong Kong would have a culture. People only get attached to thing when it relates to them or is a result of them, so therefore, make Hong Kong from scratch again and you will really see the true nature of Hong Kongers.
Hundreds of people who started their lives making things like the famous neon light signs that are scattered around Hong Kong now live in little dog cages made for humans who don't have enough money. The people to started Hong Kong's culture and reputation have now been taken down from their own game because of tourism and demand. All of this comes down to reputation. People go to school to get good grades, then from the good grades they can get into a good college, and then the college will say "wow, you have got a good reputation, we accept you" Then from there you have just built up your reputation even more to a point when reputation means who you are. In Hong Kong's case its all about selling more, and to do that you must have a good reputation. This thirst and hunger for a good reputation is all that anyone cares about and as a result the things that really matter like, culture and identity fade away.
http://www.internations.org/hong-kong-expats/guide/15908-culture-shopping-recreation/hong-kong-culture-social-etiquette-15920: After looking at this source ( a website dedicated to Hong Kong and its sites) I realized, everyone has a different look at Hong Kong. There were many statements in the website that I did not agree with. "Always avoid loud and obtrusive public behavior to blend into Hong Kong culture. Avoid holding hands and public displays of affection, too, as these are frowned upon." was one of the sentences that struck me. Now a days when I walk around Hong Kong all I can see if public displayed of affection (maybe a little too much). Hong Kong is also very chaotic, and there is constantly noise coming from every angle and corner.
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1534746/cantonese-opera-dim-sum-and-diwali-hong-kong-lists-its-cultural: After reading this website I felt very informed....or more aware, there are things everyday in my life that I take for granted and don't think much about them, like the egg tarts made in Hong Kong. Although this site was very useful and because it was written by multiple people giving the page multiple opinions, the page was about advertising Hong Kong, so most of the things on there were not as they seemed. Also, most of the things written on the site were also part of another places culture, and not exactly unique to Hong Kong.
http://www.internations.org/hong-kong-expats/guide/15942-jobs-business/hong-kong-business-culture-15930: Again this site was about selling Hong Kong as a place to live, everything on this site was relatively positive. I think I could have done a little bit of a better job at picking sources. For example, I should have chosen sites that had views from people who lived in Hong Kong as well as visited. I also could have chosen sites that were not trying to sell something in Hong Kong.