I’m back in Hong Kong, after having been away for over almost eight months. I’m back in “Asia’s World City”, as the region is advertised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board – a definition that well reflects Hong Kong’s global attitude, as well as its pride in being part of Asia with all its culture, tradition and values.
At the same time, however, the definition reflects another aspect of Hong Kong: the difficult relation it has with its motherland China. The region is advertised as Asia’s world city, not China’s world city, nor Asia’s Chinese city. The fact that Hong Kong is part of China is very conveniently omitted in the definition, probably on purpose: describing Hong Kong as a Chinese city (thus comparable to other Chinese (port) cities such as Shanghai) might arouse protest among local Hong Kong residents, who feel themselves unique and only Chinese in some particular ways.
I’m back in Hong Kong, Asia’s World City that struggles with issues of national and regional identities, and in which uncertainty with regards to the future dominates important aspects of life. What is it that makes this city unique? How did it earn the status of being “Asia’s World City”? And how do the residents of the city experience this themselves?
Keep following this blog – perhaps I’ll be able to provide somewhat of an answer in the coming months, after having done more research in this fascinating place!