Culture and People
Hong Kong, a hybrid culture of east and west and can best be described as a foundation that began with China, and became more influenced by British colonialism. Despite the 1997 transfer of sovereignty to the transfer of sovereignty, Hong Kong continues to hold an identity of its own.
Hong Kong's population was approximately 6.98 million in 2008/2009. People of Chinese descent comprise the vast majority of the population, with foreign nationals comprising 5%.
- Population density: 6 460 people per square kilometre
- Crude birth rate: 11.3 per 1000
- Percentage of population Chinese descent: 95%
- Other significant national groups
- Indonesia (141 012 total)
- Philippines (138 372 total)
- USA (28 624 total).
Most Hong Kong ethnic Chinese people naturally lean toward eastern culture, because demographically they are the majority. Many, though, have adopted western ways with substantial numbers still adhering to Chinese traditions. On various social aspects, the bottom-line Chinese values of "family solidarity", "courtesy" and "saving face" carry significant weight in the culture. Heavy influence is derived from Cantonese culture from the neighbouring province of Guangdong. There are also substantial communities of Hakka, Fukien, Teochiu and Shanghainese people. On the contrary, people have long been referred to by their origin in China.. Overall the background of Hong Kong Chinese born after 1965 can be classified as westernised, since they have been influenced by liberal western cultural symbols.
Expats In Hong Kong
Hong Kong's expatriate community is as large and diverse as the city itself. Hong Kong has long been a favourite outpost for Western expatriates.
Some Important Links:
Hong Kong Expat Resource Site
Hong Kong Expat Chats and Forum
Foreign Conulates and Embassies in Hong Kong
Chamber of Commerce
Hong Kong: www.chamber.org.hk
Expats In Hong Kong
Cantonese is the most widely spoken language in Hong Kong. Since the 1997 handover, the government has adopted the "biliterate and trilingual" policy. Under the principle, Chinese and English must both be acknowledged as official languages, with Cantonese being acknowledged as the de facto official Chinese language in Hong Kong, while also accepting the use of Standard Mandarin.
Superstition And Belief
Despite the relatively modernised way of life, Chinese superstition still plays an integral part of the culture. Concepts like Feng shui are taken quite seriously. Numbers in Chinese culture also play a role in people's everyday life. Numbers like "4" (because of its similarity to the Chinese word for "(to) die") are avoided when possible by believers. Other rituals like not using scissors on Chinese New Year are still around.
Most Common Holidays in Hong Kong are as follows:
- Jan New Year's Day
- Chinese New Year
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Ching Ming Festival
- Labour Day
- Lord Buddha's Birthday
- Tuen Ng (Dragon Boat) Festival
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
- Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
- National Day
- Chung Yeung Festival
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Chinese Religious festivals are timed according to the lunar calendar and variations may occur. The above represent all holidays on which banks, schools, public offices and government departments close. There are also statutory holidays on which all employees receive a day’s holiday.
In Hong Kong, it is common for families to employ domestic help. Most homes are built with servant's quarters that usually comprise one small room and bathroom.
When employing domestic helpers other than Hong Kong Chinese, strict Immigration procedures apply and it is necessary to arrange a formal contract which is provided by and registered with the Immigration Department. These are for a standard two years and the salary scale is fixed by legislation.