What makes a Hong Kong Chinese?
Hong Kongers - young or old - love to consult a fortune teller to ensure they are making the big decisions in life at the right time. Many fortune tellers can be found in temples, where they often try to determine the fate of their customers with bamboo sticks. Reading by hand or face is just as popular. Fortune telling and belief in metaphysical powers are more than just superstitions - they are an integral part of the traditional way of life cultivated in modern Hong Kong.
However, a common national Chinese identity is the declared goal of the leadership in Beijing. The offspring at Hong Kong's schools are to be raised patriotically, textbooks and curricula have been 'cleared out' of the colonial heritage.
If you look at the everyday life of many Hong Kong Chinese, the cultivated lifestyle could be summarized as 'work hard, eat well and gamble high', although the order here can vary.
The families often live in cramped conditions; A good education is extremely important and is seen as the key to professional success and prosperity.
When asked about religious affiliation
the majority of Hong Kong residents would reply that they do not belong to any religion. However, religious customs have a permanent place in the everyday life of many people. Visiting Buddhist or Taoist temples is quite common; Likewise, one often encounters Buddhist shrines in private households and business premises. In the Confucian tradition there is ancestor worship, which has a fixed place in the life of the Hong Kong people as a kind of popular belief.
In order to have a good 'joss' (luck), the pragmatic Hong Kongers often make offerings to all deities.
Christianity came to Hong Kong with the British in the middle of the 19th century. Today there are over 500,000 Protestants and Catholics. They get involved in social areas, run kindergartens, schools and hospitals.
The popular Wong Tai Sin Temple in northeast Kowloon is dedicated to a Taoist god and was built in traditional Chinese style.
Besides Buddhism, Taoism has the largest following in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's cultural scene
is varied and lively today.
Among other things, the events in China in June 1989 and the return of Hong Kong to the sovereignty of the People's Republic have led numerous artists to seek out their own Hong Kong identity.
In this context, the success of the Hong Kong auteur cinema, which need not fear comparison with international standards, is an impressive example. Filmmakers like Wong Kar-wei ('Chungking Express'), Derek Yee, Yim Ho ('Kitchen') and Clara Law have long since attracted international attention and won numerous festival prizes. In their films they make use of the viewing habits of the Hong Kong audience (kung fu, Cantonese melodrama, gangster film, soap comedy), but deal with different content. Her films show the attitude towards life in a world in disintegration. They take stock of the political and intellectual history and make the question of identity a central issue. They unmask the uprooting and alienation of a society that for decades only cared about business and consumption and thereby - in the Confucian sense - ignored the individual.
Another typical Hong Kong cultural product is 'Kanto-Pop' - popular music in the Cantonese dialect, which is popular in all of Chinese-speaking Asia. It is of great commercial importance and its stars like Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok or Faye Wong are well known.
Also from the official side
In recent years, international festivals and guest performances as well as the establishment of new cultural cities such as the Academy of Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Cultural Center have taken into account the promotion of the cultural scene.
The museum landscape can also
Let Hong Kong see. The Hong Kong Museum of Art, which houses Chinese antiques, objets d'art, historical photos and contemporary art from Hong Kong in four exhibition halls, should be highlighted. (Hong Kong Cultural Center Complex, Kowloon)
Also interesting, also because of its colonial architecture, is the Flagstaff House from 1846, which houses a tea museum.
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