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How much racism in HK?

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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22guy:
    I am a young brown guy, who is pretty new in HK compared to many users here.

    I have been living here for three years.
    I have had many experiences. They are not subtle. But none of them violent or abusive like those happen in the UK or the US.

    In MTR, I keep seeing some middle-aged, older folks (locals) run away from me as if they encountered a ghost. Some also cover their noses as if I came to steal something from their nostrils. Some are so respectful of my presence that they just get up from their seat and keep standing up when I sit next to them. They also tend leave an extra seat for me even if the train is crowded.

    I have had no such experiences from younger folks. They are very welcoming and jovial. In my university campus, I never encountered such people.

    In the early days, I genuinely thought I scared off those middle-aged, older Hong Kongers (majority of them were women) in the MTR. Lol.
    It's definitely a generational thing, and its encouraging to see the younger generation shed the label of the past (e.g. racist against brown/black/other minorities, blindly worship Caucasians). Also helps that the Hooray Henry's of the past seem to have gone and that expats nowadays are more like the Geoexpat crowd - cosmopolitan, friendly, and just looking to enjoy life.
    Coolboy and MatthieuTofu like this.

  2. #12

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    I've written before how there is a little subconscious racist bias (a term I hate when used generally in the west as it's not true) in Hong Kong. As a white westerner, I'm the second last person sat next to on a busy bus, (they think we smell, probably true as Chinese genes don't result in smelly armpit sweat), the guy with a turban is the last. Neither of us care, we have somewhere to put our bags. It's probably more that locals, and Cantonese, isn't subtle. "You're looking fat" is not something I'd say to anyone, but locals will do, not in an offensive way, but as an observation as Cantonese doesn't have such subtleness.

    The government machine does treat people of dark skin as a lower class because they can (the police, immigration, etc) as often reported. But in day to day life it's probably not a huge issue if you don't let it worry you, but I defer to those that experience it who will probably see more subtle fear/avoidance/trust issues than dealing with locals or white westerners.

    You have to remember that ultimately the problem is "Chinese nationality" is, but for a tiny number of people, entirely based on blood and race. British nationality is not. Leaving aside the few knuckle draggers you get in any society, calling a person "not British" because they have dark skin will get, as it should, shouted down. Calling someone of Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese or European descent "not Chinese" in Hong Kong/China because they don't look like one is locally acceptable. Calling non-Chinese race HK PRs of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years standing "foreigners" in HK is also deemed acceptable by the HK and mainland governments despite what the Basic Law says.

    drumbrake, HK_Katherine and Sage like this.

  3. #13

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    Regardless of where you live in the world, there is always racism, however the degree varies.

    Experiencing different cultures raises tolerance and understanding of different cultures.


  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaz Paul:
    Stop being a snowflake. Biggest hurdle to encounter anywhere is a job , and you've got that covered comfortably by the sound of your post. Domestic helper will take a lot of burden off your family's back too for about 450 British quid a month and boarding. I'm a brown bastard too but married to a local if that helps.

    Hang around good /like minded people to vent and you'll get over anything discriminatory you receive. It's life stay strong!

    Stay here for a few years, make your money and leave if you still don't get accustomed to it.

    Best of luck

    Ironically, I'm leaving hk today with my family for good for greener pastures. (hopefully).
    Re being a snowflake, fair comment, but I'm more worried about effect on wife and especially 2 year old son. As adults we can take a fair bit, children are adaptable too, just unsure on the level. I suppose we can always leave if things don't work as you say.

  5. #15

    Join Date
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    2,169
    Quote Originally Posted by eightfivetwo:
    Look, nobody is getting punched in the face or beat up due to their race. The same cannot be said of other major cities like New York, London, Sydney, Toronto, etc...

    And I have to say things have calmed down a lot (by HK standards) since the 80s or 90s. This goes both ways - this means the "white advantage" that many enjoyed from a previous era pretty much no longer exists. This was probably accelerated from the local/expat divide on masks recently.
    Toronto is 51% visible minorities, way more diverse then then the other cities mentioned, Canada, while being perhaps the most multicultural country in the world, unfortunately still struggles with it's racial issues like the rest but at least it's much less segregated than US or UK.

    As for HK, its impact is felt the most by POC as @shri mentioned but still probably the most tolerant in Asia (not sure about SG tho). However, it's still a safe city and rarely would soemone go out of their way to cause harm in daily life.

    Civil/public services should also be fine here compared to other regional nations.
    gigglinggal likes this.

  6. #16

    There’s nothing wrong with the place itself, but the people. You might consider rephrasing your question and ask how racist are Chinese people?


  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    3,088
    Quote Originally Posted by stickyears:
    You have to remember that ultimately the problem is "Chinese nationality" is, but for a tiny number of people, entirely based on blood and race.
    ...and no sooner said, the SCMP proves it....

    https://twitter.com/NatalieWong601/s...17738008211457

    (see HKFP for back story)

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22guy:
    I am a young brown guy, who is pretty new in HK compared to many users here.

    I have been living here for three years.
    I have had many experiences. They are not subtle. But none of them violent or abusive like those happen in the UK or the US.

    In MTR, I keep seeing some middle-aged, older folks (locals) run away from me as if they encountered a ghost. Some also cover their noses as if I came to steal something from their nostrils. Some are so respectful of my presence that they just get up from their seat and keep standing up when I sit next to them. They also tend leave an extra seat for me even if the train is crowded.

    I have had no such experiences from younger folks. They are very welcoming and jovial. In my university campus, I never encountered such people.

    In the early days, I genuinely thought I scared off those middle-aged, older Hong Kongers (majority of them were women) in the MTR. Lol.
    That is interesting you had experiences where people would run away if they saw you. Strange as surely they would've seen a fair few foreigners in HK (something like 10% foreign I thought) or at least on TV?

    By your estimates, would those be long term HK residents / natives or would that have come from mainlanders or fresh arrivals to HK from other, less cosmopolitan parts of Asia?
    Last edited by wawahi1212; 16-08-2020 at 05:38 PM.

  9. #19

    I assume most of them are long-term HK residents/natives. In one instance, a middle-aged woman asked me (in fluent Cantonese) to move away from her while I was clearly standing four feet away from her. lol. I can definitely say that these are a minority, who are probably frustrated with their own lives.

    Meanwhile, I have met several wonderful local Hong Hongers too; my neighbours, colleagues, local grocery store employees, and the staff of restaurants I frequently visit. I have even encountered some strangers, who greeted me with full-blown smiles during my long hikes.

    The racism is manageable for adults. I am not sure about kids as I do not what happens in schools.

    Hong Kong is an amazing place to live if you have a good job and some nice people to hangout with.

    mokhi6 likes this.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by wawahi1212:
    That is interesting you had experiences where people would run away if they saw you. Strange as surely they would've seen a fair few foreigners in HK (something like 10% foreign I thought) or at least on TV?

    By your estimates, would those be long term HK residents / natives or would that have come from mainlanders or fresh arrivals to HK from other, less cosmopolitan parts of Asia?
    I assume most of them are long-term HK residents/natives. In one instance, a middle-aged woman asked me (in fluent Cantonese) to move away from her while I was clearly standing four feet away from her. lol. I can definitely say that these are a minority, who are probably frustrated with their own lives.

    Meanwhile, I have met several wonderful local Hong Hongers too; my neighbours, colleagues, local grocery store employees, and the staff of restaurants I frequently visit. I have even encountered some strangers, who greeted me with full-blown smiles during my long hikes.

    The racism is manageable for adults. I am not sure about kids as I do not what happens in schools.

    Hong Kong is an amazing place to live if you have a good job and some nice people to hangout with.

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