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How to Know Hong Kong and Macau

Roberto Ignacio Diaz, Dominic Cheung, Ana Paulina Lee, Authors

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Who Is Hong Kong?

Who Is Hong Kong?

In my time in Hong Kong, I set out to answer the question “What is Hong Kong?” I intended to unfold the identity of the region, politically and culturally. However, as Hong Kong absorbed me as one of its own, I slowly came to realize that I was asking the wrong question. Hong Kong is not an entity, but a being. Hong Kong should be understood like an individual, and like any individual, it cannot be fully deciphered. A survey showed that in 1990, 58.3% of the participants identified themselves as Hong Kongers, 26.2% as Chinese, and 14.3% as both (Y. Wong). The implication is that by 1990, Hong Kongers had already developed a local identity. They saw Hong Kong as something different from Britain and China, and I decided to delve into the question of how this came to be. It would be difficult, even impossible, to understand Hong Kong’s identity without looking at it in the context of colonization, and so I first had to understand this. Hong Kong’s history since the mid-nineteenth century took it from Chinese territory to British crown colony to Chinese Special Administrative Region, and this served to confuse the identity of Hong Kong in three principal ways.
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