Colonialism – Hong Kong

 

hk1From 1841 to 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony and the colonialism has shaped our subjectivity a lot.

First, Hong Kong was only a small fishing port with less natural resources. Then, after the British colonizers came to Hong Kong, they developed it to become a transhipment port, which was the important step for Hong Kong to turn into a finance and business city, and to have a rapid economic development. Today, only less people in Hong Kong are still doing agriculture and fishing. Almost everyone wants to devote into the financial sector because we are subjected to believe that those who are in this sector are the upper class in this society, and it is the essential factor for the community to develop as well.

Second, besides Chinese, English is another official language in Hong Kong. We have to learn English since kindergarten, and for the official and legal documents, if there is some contradiction or ambiguity between English version and Chinese version, the English version shall prevail. English is also a compulsory subject in all of the primary and secondary schools, and in universities, we only taught in English. Although Hong Kong has returned to China from 1997, we only learn Mandarin in primary school, and we speak Cantonese and use traditional Chinese rather than Mandarin and Simplified Chinese. In addition, there are two types of secondary school in Hong Kong, which is English as Medium of Instruction School (EMI) and Chinese as Medium of Instruction School (CMI). For those students who can go into an EMI are seen as  brilliant and more intelligent. If people who do not know English or not good at English, they are seen as uneducated, unskilled and uncompetitive. Today’s Hong Kong society generally more emphasis on English but not Chinese and we think that English can enhance our international competitiveness. This can show that how colonialism shaped our subjectivity powerfully.

Third, most of the Hong Kong people believe in Taoism, Buddhism or other Chinese folk religion before colonized. However, Christianity and Catholicism also become more common when Hong Kong become the British colony. This has made Hong Kong to be a city with high freedom of religion and beliefs. Apart from the above religions, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism are also very familiar.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of being colonized. We can see that the city has better development and the competitiveness is increasing. Nevertheless, some of the traditional cultures may disappear or be replaced.

list1_symphony-of-lightsHong Kong as a international and multicultural city, all of the people in different race can have same education opportunity and can enjoy the same rights, we would respect their religion and custom as well. Because of the coexistence of Chinese and Western cultures, we accept both traditional Chinese values and universal Western values. Therefore, there is no boundary between Hong Kong people and the other.

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