HK Social Structure: "To each his own..."?

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  1. #1

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    HK Social Structure: "To each his own..."?

    I have now been in HK for about 6 months and I have some additional observations I would like longtimers' opinion on. ( For previous contraversial post please see: http://www.geoexpat.com/forum/thread8394.html )

    The people that are living in Hong Kong seem to be divided into several groups that have very little, if any, interactions with each other on a social level. As I attempt to classify people into these groups, please dont be offended. These are my views based on my experiences. I will look at what type of people each group constitutes, their preferred way of life, and how they interact among each other. If you disagree with anything or can contribute with your own experiences, great! Let me know! If you know something I dont, great! Let me know!

    The southeast asian crew: This group is subdivided into the nationalities of Philipines, Indonesia, and Thailand. These are mostly the ladies that work either as maids or 'working ladies'. They have extremely tight communities as they heavily depend on each other for friendship and support due their distance away from their actual families. Some Hong Kongnese even seem to regard them as inferior. Sundays seem to be their favorite day...

    The indo-african crew: This group seems to be made up of largely indian laborers that have migrated to Hong Kong long time ago with british colonial activities. Many of them own or operate restaurants or have other low-paying jobs such as hotel bellboys, constuction workers, tailors,etc. Not sure if the africans belong here but they seem to hang out around same areas as indians in Tsim Sha Tsui, trying to sell you suits or watches...

    The white-local crew: These are the whites that have been in Hong Kong for a long time, so long that they dont refer to themselves as expats. Many of these speak some cantonese and have established HK as their only home. Dont know much more about this group as I have not had any first hand interaction with them. I am guessing that quite a few make decent money though (i see them in the latest sports cars...)

    The white-expat crew: These are your usual expats that drift through Hong Kong for a few years. Lots of brits, lots of french, any other nationality you can think of. They hang out with other expats, do their yoga, have a drink at the same bars on LKF, and go home to live on their Mid-levels flats / stanley homes.

    The ABC / CBC crew: These are the American and Canadian born chinese that have found themselves to be living in hong kong. They usually act in very non-chinese ways and make sure to differentiate themselves from the local crowds. Few of them speak good cantonese and even fewer can write. They usually find other americans / canadians with which to spend their time.

    The local local Hong Kongnese crew: Divided into different social classes, yet, sharing very common traits are the the local local Hong Kongnese. No matter how rich or poor, they have conciously chosen to exclusivey interact between each other. They have naturally grown very used to the foreign presence in Hong Kong and have lost all interest to have anything to do with them. Its not uncommon to see these not speak any english either( especially lower classes).

    The not-so local Hong Kongnese crew: These are the people that have spent part of their lives living outside of hong kong (usually in canada, england, US, or australia). They are truly hong kongnese at heart, yet have a much more open-minded outlook on life compared to local locals. They have the potential and ability to interact with the greatest number of above mentioned groups as they can relate to most one way or the other.

    With them being the connectors, I think there is great potential to bring the people living in Hong Kong closer together, resulting in greater prosperity, increased cultural and ethnic sensitivity, and intelectual & spiritual growth of the society as a whole.

    Hong Kong is an overall good city to live in... but it can be better...
    :wave


  2. #2

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    >> Hong Kong is an overall good city to live in... but it can be better...

    The earth is an overall good planet to live on... but it can be better...


  3. #3

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    Again,...an overly simplistic and biased view of Hong Kong through the eyes of another alleged Know-it-all....(not you, dear moderator.)


  4. #4

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    ok... where would i fit in your categories...

    1)white canadian female
    2)moved to HK 11 years ago out of uni
    3)didn't know a soul when i came, but came and worked a steady stream of jobs, met many peopel of all "classes"
    4)tried to learn cantonese(after 11 years, can get by reasonably well... not fluent)
    5)married a local chinese man (VERY local...ie grew up in gov't housing)
    6)have NEVER had a "high" paying job, but many satisfying jobs including owning 2 businesses on my own
    7)when in HK call canada home...
    8)when in canada call HK home....
    9)live in Discovery Bay
    10)have a son, born in HK with both English & Chinese names on all documents
    11) when married, did the whole Chinese ceremony thing with the party and all...

    just curious how you would clasify me...

    Last edited by carang; 09-06-2006 at 06:45 PM.

  5. #5

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    How bout a Hong Kong born, US university educated Indian guy who teaches English? Where do I fit in? I speak Cantonese too and most of my friends are locals/ABCs/CBCs....I don't fit into any of your categories buddy. I'm also an EU citizen.


  6. #6

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    Well, to be honest, in a naive way chrome does make a point.

    The problem I see with this and his last rant is that when you're in a hurry to put people into compartments.. you really cant complain if they put you into one.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by carang
    just curious how you would clasify me...
    oval (in its classical meaning)?

  8. #8

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    From Dictionary.com

    oval

    adj : rounded like an egg [syn: egg-shaped, elliptic, elliptical, ovate, oviform, ovoid, prolate] n : a closed plane curve resulting from the intersection of a circular cone and a plane cutting completely through it; "the sums of the distances from the foci to any point on an ellipse is constant" [syn: ellipse]


    well... since the baby... i am a little "rounded like an egg".... or did you have a different meaning?


  9. #9

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    To cater those who cannot fit into the above categories, I suggest to add a new type called "Hybrid" to give flexibility.

    Thanks for your observation. I think you can classify at least 80% of the HK people from your observation.


  10. #10
    Mat
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    Of course you could find more catergories (for example the mainland immigrants ...) but even too simplistic I find it not that far from reality....


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