Colonization and National Identity- I Am a Hongkonger?

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Being Chinese has gradually evolved in international viewing from being weak to become stronger and stronger and a much larger reason to be proud of, seeing its unprecedented economic and social advancements. China has also gained its big brother status in Asia and a major player in international field. What is the barrier then, for us Hong Kong people to announce ourselves as Chinese directly? One thing about Hong Kong is that it is colonized before the People’s republic of China has set up. To most of us, China is so near geographically or otherwise, and yet so distant, culturally and historically for the past 50 years or so.

Being in Hong Kong is contradictory. We take pride in ourselves, in our hard work, in our economic freedom, our top-ranking universities, our ability to overcome hardship and much more. We have millions of reasons to be proud of but when you ask if we have national pride, we won’t be able to give you a straight and direct answer.

What do we call ourselves when we are asked where are we from? It used to be a simple question before 1997.When I went to Australia for travelling when I was small, shop owners tried to chat with us and ask us what people are we. I answered we are HongKonger, plain and simple. We most definitely would not say we are British even if we are holding a BNO1, issued by the British. We, me included, take pride in calling ourselves as HongKonger. It is amazing how almost everyone in the world knows about Hong Kong and its glory, seeing how small it is on the map and how far it is to people in, for example, Australia or USA. Then, it comes to 1997 when Hong Kong is handed over to China.

It is much more than just a name calling for me. I would call myself CFSSer. To say that, I recognize I am really a part of my secondary school, CFSS2 as a whole and take pride in it. It is the same with calling myself a Hong Konger. It is a sense of belonging, a feeling that I am a part of something. It is something you call yourself when you feel it is something you can relate to or feel close to.

We are so used to be colonized. Ray Chow’s viewpoints (Chow, 1998), I think, speak out a lot of people’s mind. We are once again colonized. It is of course untrue practically or politically speaking but it is what we think and what the reality shows. We share the same bloodline and we may even come from same origins of places but with Hong Kong being frontier of international exposure these years, it is no surprise that the difference between Hong Kong and mainland China will be huge. Also, the indirect relationship between Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China renders Hong Kong as an adopted kid. It is so such that Hong Kong is always treated as a place where excessive freedom is allowed, according to Mainland officials. It is also a place regarded as a bad child, always trying something new, with no restrictions.

I am not a special case around regarding this matter. We can see from researches how Hong Kong people recognize themselves. According to a research done by Chinese university of Hong Kong (Anon., 2012), 23.4% of the interviewed regard themselves as just HongKonger, with people who just think they are Chinese being only 12.6%. We can see quite a lot of issues from this research. First off is the response from newspapers and Chinese officials. They are criticizing the inaccuracy of these sorts of researches and question the purpose of them as to strengthen oppositions to government. They also linked it to ideas like political full autonomy of Hong Kong. I was actually quite disgusted by the over-reaction and the political-minded response. There is no doubt that the research is not conclusive and its sample size is not big enough. However, is it a plausible reason for an official to put political pressure on the research? The research reveals the fact that although people who agrees to the double identity- being Hong Konger and Chinese at the same time is the majority,...
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