Sunday, September 17, 2006


650"THE BIGGEST CHINATOWN" -- that is how HK is described in last night's Globe Trekker TV special on Chinatowns around the world. This is the first time that I heard of this perception and I'm has never occurred to me before that I'm born in a Chinatown!!! LOL! Maybe that's why I had mixed feelings during my 2-month stay in Beijing two years ago; maybe that's why the culture, people and language were familiar and strange at the same time --because I was a Chinatown Chinese in real China?
Is that your perception of HK as well?
ps. today's photo shows a replica of old fishing junk for tourists in the Victoria Harbor, it has engines and the sails are decorative ;-)

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camera Hong kong

Comments on "Chinatown?"


Anonymous kris said ... (September 17, 2006 3:52 PM) : 

oh, the photo is postcard perfect, Lisi!

I never thought of HK as a chinatown. Its a financial centre, a shopper's heaven, hollywood of aisa (with bollywood).. and so much more!

from wiki
A Chinatown is a section of an urban area associated with a large number of Chinese residents or commercial activities within a city outside China. Chinatowns are most common in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and North America.


Anonymous Zsolt72 said ... (September 17, 2006 4:30 PM) : 

Actually I thought in a place like Hong Kong the term Chinatown didnt make any sense since the entire city is Chinatown ("large number of Chinese residents").


Anonymous min said ... (September 17, 2006 4:35 PM) : 

i always has a feel of hkg as a "mai dong xi chi dong xi" country...LOL...
anyway, a good shot of the old with the modernity as background...


Blogger Curly said ... (September 17, 2006 5:24 PM) : 

Another nice image Lisi.


Blogger Matt said ... (September 17, 2006 7:05 PM) : 

The title may appear awkard to somebody. Yet, it bears some degree of truthfulness, from a global point of view. Hong Kong is just a tiny spot in Asia. However, the area demonstrates the peculiarity of a Chinese community. At the same time, it contains all the features of a profound and sophisticated city.


Blogger Sam said ... (September 17, 2006 8:08 PM) : 

HI Lisi!
What a perfectly gorgeous photo!
I hope you're well -
I'm hanging in there - but have a lot of work to do right now (deadlines)


Blogger Robert said ... (September 17, 2006 9:17 PM) : 

Hi, Lisi:

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your welcome comment. I really like this shot of the junk against the skyline. We really do have something in common. When I was a kid, 50 odd years ago, I lived on Chestnut St. at the corner of Armoury St., a block south of Dundas St., in the original Toronto Chinatown. When my parents wanted to find me they would look in the Mah Jongg parlours at the back of the shops on Dundas St., and sure enough, I'd be there, drinking Coca Cola and eating Chinese sweets. I could speak Chinese and English and had no idea I was caucasion. Unfortunately, I lost the Chinese when we moved away.


Blogger Denton said ... (September 17, 2006 10:32 PM) : 

I would never have thought of Honk Kong as a Chinatown. However, logically it is. My wife is third generation Mexican American and she has similar feelings, of strange yet familiar, when she is exposed to the Mexican culture.


Anonymous Rudy Girón said ... (September 17, 2006 11:51 PM) : 

I consider Hong Kong just Hong Kong. It is like the Vatican, a city or district within Italy, but at the same time it is the Vatican. Hong Kong is its distric and city state. As far as I know, Hong Kong has its own top level domain .hk and thus you can have domains like for the Hong Kong University. Do you think Chinatowns have their top level domain?


Blogger bob said ... (September 18, 2006 12:26 AM) : 

Lovely photo. I've been down to the sea today too. I have that strange and familiar feeling most of the time


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (September 18, 2006 12:31 AM) : 

I've visited some Chinatowns in the U.S. (NYC [my hometown], Boston, LA, Pasadena, Wash. D.C, etc.)and once in Toronto, Canada. And of course the biggest one of them all .. in HK. The writer may have a point. With the clear exception of the perpetual huge street crowds in HK, the feel one gets when walking through any of the non-HK Chinatowns is not unlike that of the feeling of walking through the streets of HK itself. This is especially true when walking down some narrow, crowded streets -- very similar to walking down some side streets in Yamatei and Mongkok in Kowloon. Of couse, to experience the great museums, Ocean Park, Central, Mid-Levels, etc., one has to go to the real Chinatown in HK :)


Anonymous said ... (September 18, 2006 2:32 AM) : 

Great shot Lisi!

We're neighbors and never thought of HK as chinatown... Its just, well, HongKong to me. A city we love to visit often, shopping place for my fashionista alter-ego, and my hubby's fave dimsum & dumplings city. Yeah its really weird calling HK that, because it is part of China.

Though, I'd say Cebu City is one big Chinatown! =)


Anonymous jazzy said ... (September 18, 2006 2:50 AM) : 

great postcard photo, where did you take it from, from the land or boat?
i like the haze.


Anonymous Brandi said ... (September 18, 2006 5:17 AM) : 

i love this photo and i love your blog. i'm hoping to study in HK next fall and from the looks of photographs i think i will enjoy myself! BTW I love the atmosphere of your photos, please keep them coming!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (September 18, 2006 6:17 AM) : 

Lisi, your post pepped my interest about the episode. Will try to watch it tonight (Aug 17 at 6 PM on KCET).


Blogger Sally said ... (September 18, 2006 6:40 AM) : 

Just typically stupid inane commentary.

But I do think for many Westerners, Hing Kong is indeed "China Lite", especially when it was much more difficult to travel inmainland China than it is now.


Blogger midnitebara said ... (September 18, 2006 10:51 AM) : 

hi ! hmmm, I never thought of Hongkong as chinatown, sounds strange to me too.

anyway, I'm happy to tell you that I'm back. Akita daily has been resurrected. I'm now using wordpress, thanks to you and denton. Uhh, Im happy to be back!
See you here.


Blogger midnitebara said ... (September 18, 2006 10:53 AM) : 

opps , why did the link go to my blogspot dashboard. Sorry, I dont know happened. But here's the link...


Blogger Felicia said ... (September 18, 2006 1:32 PM) : 

Great photo showing the old and the new and funny that the boat is powered by engines. BTW, I don't know Kip's in El Cajon, but I'm willing to find out! ;)


Blogger Kala said ... (September 18, 2006 1:48 PM) : 

what a nice photo and distinctively asian with its sail shape and design - I dont know much about HK, so I would have no though as to it being chinatown but now that I think about it , i guess that could be a good way of looking at it since it was previuosly run by the british =)


Anonymous hki-info said ... (September 18, 2006 2:04 PM) : 

I watched that show a few weeks ago, and at first I was quite shocked by that perspective too.

In some sense it is true. The modern HK city, since its inception in the mid-19th century to 1997, was solely developed and governed by the British (except the 3 years of Japanese invasion during WWII), while its population was dominated by immigrants from southern China (mostly Canton). This is not unlike other Chinatowns around the world, where Chinese immigrants form an almost self-sustained community under another country's rule. Even after the handover to China, HK people, already quite westernized to varying degrees, have retained the British-style common law and most of them still speak good or some English.

But as a HK-born person whose native language is Cantonese, I strongly resent the idea of calling myself Chinese. The foremost reason is that I do not identify myself with Chinese from China, especially those whose native language is Mandarin. Whereas the name Cantonese is somewhat acceptable as it describes my mother tongue, the word Chinese, which has a meaning as broad as the Arabs or the Hispanics, will only get us all mixed up in other people's minds. Therefore, I have always urged other HKers not to call themselves Chinese to avoid any confusion that may arise due to the name duplication.

HK people, Hong Kongese, or HKers is a good enough description.



Blogger Lisi said ... (September 18, 2006 3:29 PM) : 

HI all,

Thank you and I really appreciate your thoughts and perspectives on this. From a definition, "China Lite" to Vatican, your neighbour or "HK is HK"...very different perspectives indeed.

Sam, good to hear from you!
Midnite: welcome back!
Brandi: I invite you to go through my other posts in this blog, HK is not always beautiful and it is very polluted, hot and humid as well so be prepared. However, I'm glad that you like my blog.

Thanks everyone, with your contributions, I think this is my most interesting post (so far!) and I have posted it on a google group as well;-)
Now I have to get back to my last minute prep for exam...


Anonymous Woo said ... (November 04, 2006 11:19 AM) : 

No way. Hong Kong isnt just another chinatown. Its more then that. Hong Kong is a magical city. chinatown's are just counterfeit versions of China/Hong Kong. There are so many special and wonderful things in Hong Kong that you wouldnt see in your average chinatown. Screw chinatown, Im going to Hong Kong!


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