Tag Archives: postcolonialism

A Little Dose of Culture

10 Jan

Culture in Hong Kong is very unique in that it is a product of colonization, creating a hybrid of Chinese and English culture. Also, due to having economic wealth earlier, it tends to be a lot more “civilized” in the Western sense of the word. It tends to be cleaner than the other large cities in mainland China and less polluted. Well, that and a lot less people using the restroom in public, which I had only seen twice in Hong Kong and both were little boys (nothing like the split pants for toddlers in mainland China). Although most toilets are normal Western-style toilets (albeit a bit smaller) there are squat toilets (which I had the misfortune of running into a few times). One piece of culture that people seem to be confused about are people wearing the health masks. People in Hong Kong wear them when they’re sick so they don’t get others sick. This is also practiced in Mainland China as well as other Asian countries like Japan.

Like other Asian countries, people in Hong Kong are more group-oriented rather than individualistic, and the thoughts and ideas of their peers play a more important role in how they think in comparison to western society. Rarely does anyone speak up when someone is being noisy during a lecture, but when I’ve told someone to quiet down, they did, but took it more harshly than someone in the West would. Dressing up is a big thing in Hong Kong. No matter where you go (regardless of it it’s finals week or not), everyone dresses up. The only time you really see someone in shorts and a shirt or a hoodie is either in the dorm or at the gym, something I rather preferred to the average American college student’s style of dress. Another important thing is that filial piety (respecting your elders) is extremely important and one is expected to give up a seat on the train or bus for an elderly person or go out of their way to help the elderly. This mindset is prevalent in the majority of Asia, not just in HK.