’It is necessary to speak about the notion of Chineseness in the plural: Chineseness-ess!’
This quote from Prof Chu, Program Director of Hong Kong Studies at the Hong Kong University, was one of the important takeaways from the workshop, introducing our students to “Hong Kong Studies: Methods and Multiculturalism”. It stresses the importance of recognizing that there is more than one “Chineseness” to think about when analyzing the influence of Chinese culture on Hong Kong. The lecture also stressed the importance of recognizing Hong Kong as a case for understanding the global rise of China and its impact of globalization. Prof. Chu suggested that 'China has become a predicament as well as a condition for Hong Kong culture'.
Prof. Maria Tam, Associate Director of the Institute of Future Cities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, delivered a talk on Multiculturalism in Hong Kong, which gave the group insights as to who qualifies as “Hong Kong people” and how local media reflect on the bias against non-Chinese Southeast Asian ethnic groups. Prof. Tam calls for ethnic empowerment through three elements: information, knowledge, and wisdom.
It was a fascinating discussion, an intriguing experience and a perfect kick-off for the group’s field research in Hong Kong. We’d therefore like to thank both Professors for the time and effort they invested to share their knowledge with our students!