Of 22 years of age, not a lot of mental pictures have sprung to mind when one inquires what is so special Hong Kong. Any sightings or happenings that can be classified as truly authentic? I would have to blame my unfortunately sized brain for not recalling many as such. As an intruder to another culture, never has it slipped my mind the importance of having a “root”. Your root gives you your distinctive identity. Backgrounds, traditions, cultures, beliefs and mindsets that solely belong to you and your people only.
Hong Kong without a doubt is one of the fastest changing cities in the world. The glory it brings about include unprecedented infrastructure, economic prosperity and stability based on its ability to change and adapt to the global needs. A mice’s reaction time is nothing compares to our people’s. We see an opportunity and seize it; renders Hong Kong one of the best places in the world to be entrepreneurial.
An insightful Chinese proverb goes, “Ends of a needle are never both sharp.” I wonder if we have thrown behind anything at all to float our economic success? Let’s not discuss the norm for example the Gini Index or the government failures that seems to appear on the newspaper front page almost every day.
“You can’t carry along with you anything when your legs are straight and stiffened.” Hong Kong excels at providing herself with opportunities to grow. We pave way for it; nothing will stop us. We tear apart buildings, relocate people. “Huai Jiu” or in Cantonese “Wai Gau”, an appreciation for the old things, can only exist in words and photographs. When we completely obliterate our past just to squeeze every last drop of milk, I wonder what have we removed for our children and grandchildren? What can we take away when we die? Are we sabotaging our grandchildren’s rights?
One question I would also like to ask is: have we been so focused on pleasing the world that we have forgotten who we are and what we stand for? This not just a question to the brand “Hong Kong” as a whole, but to every single individual that has helped founding and will help sustaining the brand.
Where is our individuality? Where is our root?
While moving forward so rapidly, is there a balance point where we can savour our past and at the same time not compromising on economic gain? Do we have to forgo everything the old Hong Kong stood for to pave way for the future? When the Star Ferry Pier was set to be demolished I was so sad. The pier could surely still provide functionality to the habour as a whole; improvements can be made so that our future can fit in our past, demolishment was completely unessential. Einstein’s relativity theory says it is impossible to travel to a time before now. But it says nothing about erasing your past. One clearly can.
It is certainly special that we always find a Mannings next door to a Watsons; a Bonjour next to a Sasa; a Luk Fook next to a Chow Sang Sang. It is certainly special that all “cool” fashion houses in Hong Kong are owned by one single person; almost all singers/artists have the same manager; all fashion magazines are owned by one publisher…
Why this phenomenon?
We aim to set out to ask the right questions, get the right solutions. We start our very own cultural revolution.
We love Hong Kong.