By Moon Wong

After a hectic week of lectures, it’s finally time to take a break from all the work and pressure! It’s surely relaxing to enjoy your personal time resting in the dormitory, but it can get boring after spending weeks inside CUHK. Are you feeling the same way right now? If so, let’s enjoy our long weekend to explore Hong Kong’s local culture! Be ready to be memorized by the multitude of colors in Hong Kong!

Fast-paced Metropolis

Like any other major cities in the world (e.g. Tokyo & New York), Hong Kong prides herself on her economic success in recent decades, climbing to the very top to become one of the most renown International Financial Center. Here, you will see skyscrapers everywhere, housing numerous offices belonging to various companies and associations. Busy businessmen can be found hustling on the streets, making phone calls and making preparation for upcoming meetings. The emphasis for speed and efficiency is not limited to businesses though. Instead, it is naturally ingrained into the minds of people in this city. May it be our pace of walking, talking, or the impressive efficiency of public transport and infrastructure system, Hong Kong is surely one of the “fastest” cities you can find around in the world.

Lion Rock Spirit – Perseverance & Diligence

The economic success of Hong Kong has never been easy. The miracle was made possible only by all the hard work and effort contributed by our ancestors throughout our chaotic and depressing history. We endured the invasion of western countries during the Opium War, got destroyed by the invasion of Japanese army during World War II, and have undergone years and years of ups and downs during global financial tsunamis. All of these hard times have become a common memory among Hong Kong people as they get passed on generations after generations. The perseverance and diligence entailed in the city’s common spirit is commonly referred to as “Lion Rock Spirit”, which is named after the most iconic mountain in Hong Kong, the Lion Rock.

Convergence of Diversity

Hong Kong is well known for the wide range of products available as a shopping paradise. It is of no exaggeration that you can buy almost everything around the world here! Be sure not to feel surprised if you see famous brands from different countries gathering at the same place when you visit the shopping malls. But Hong Kong’s uniqueness is not limited to its diverse products alone. Our city has always been a converging place where all the different cultures around the globe coexist together in harmony. As basic as consumer goods and restaurants, and as far as architecture and lifestyle, Hong Kong is a special city where the East meets the West, blending together as a united whole.

Serenity as a Fishing Village

It is very easy to imagine the hustle and bustle in the streets of Hong Kong, where pedestrians and cars occupy every inch available in the city. But could you imagine Hong Kong being a pleasant, slow-paced village? In fact, before Hong Kong develops into the modern and advanced city we know right now, she used to be a small rural coastal area where fishermen gather and live as a village. Although Hong Kong has changed a lot over years of development, our root as a fishing village remains as part of our city’s culture. If you pay attention to the streets along the coast of Hong Kong, you will easily find temples of Tin Hau, who is believed to be the goddess of the sea in Chinese mythology. Fishermen in the past would first pray in the temple for Tin Hau’s protection before sailing into the sea. Other traces such as fishing boats can be found in various typhoon shelters, for instance at the harbor of Tin Hau and Causeway Bay. Nonetheless, the best place to experience our fishing culture would surely be Tai O, which is a culturally preserved area in Hong Kong that has conserved the original lifestyle and housing of fishermen in the past. The local villagers there are mostly descendants of the early settlements, who have passed on the traditional skills and lifestyle generations after generations up to this day.