How Does the “Cha Chaan Teng”(Hong Kong Style Restaurant) Reflect and Contribute to Hk Identity?

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Topic: How does the “Cha Chaan Teng”(Hong Kong Style Restaurant) reflect and contribute to HK identity?
Hong Kong identity is a complicated issue and many different perspectives have to be taken into consideration in order to study this issue. This paper mainly focuses on the cultural perspective of the Hong Kong identity. Hall.S (2000) “identities are never unified and, in late modern times, increasingly fragmented and fractured; never singular but multiply constructed across different, often intersecting and antagonistic, discourses, practices, and positions.” This implies identity is regarded as a shared culture in Hong Kong. Most Hong Kong people think that ”Cha Chaan Teng” is an important feature of Hong Kong’s lifestyle. In other words, it is an important part of Hong Kong culture. This paper will be divided into two sections. The first section discusses the important role “Cha Chaan Teng” plays as a part of Hong Kong’s lifestyle and how it reflects and contributes to the Hong Kong identity. In the second section 3 major characteristics of “Cha Chaan Teng”; their affordable prices, high efficiency in serving food and varieties of dishes offered will be discussed.

“Cha Chaan Teng” is a significant icon of Hong Kong lifestyle. Lots of Hong Kong people grew up with “Cha Chaan Teng”.It is a great place to hang out with friends and discuss current events. Furthermore, it is a good place to see the vicissitudes of life. It is true that “Cha Chaan Teng” has an important cultural value in Hong Kong people’s mind. A survey has been conducted by Radio Television Hong Kong (2004) on the internet, 10 most representative elements of Hong Kong among 50 local characteristics. “Cha Chaan Teng” received 1,930 votes, beating the old tram by 106 votes and gaining its place in top 10. This shows that “Cha Chaan Teng” plays an important role in the cultural heritage of Hong Kong. At the same time, it contributes and reflects to local identity.

The food provided by ”Cha Chaan Teng” are economical. This is strongly related to its important role in early industrialization. It also reflects the characteristics of Hong Kong’s economic development. During early industrialization, most Hong Kong people were not rich and needed to work for a long period of time every day. They need to eat a large amount of food to  gain energy for work. In order to attract more customers,”Cha Chaan Teng” started to lower the food price and increase the food portion. These alterations made”Cha Chaan Teng” become popular. Today, during lunch time, construction workers, truck drivers, as well as office staff also eat there because they find the prices are more affordable. According to the article by Crouch, O (2011) “there are thousands of these diner-style restaurants in Hong Kong and they are a unifying aspect of the island society, popular with all socio-economic backgrounds”. It means that different background of Hong Kong people like to go to this kind of Hong Kong style restaurant. It does not come from no reason. First of all, it is very convenient to the customer because it is easy to find them. Although “Cha Chaan Teng” has developed almost for 70 years, the uniqueness of the Western and Eastern food style cannot be replaced by other restaurant. As we know, Hong Kong is called "Gourmet Paradise" as the food quality is really high and “Cha Chaan Teng” also contributed to it. Meanwhile, the food prices are reasonably cheap. Therefore, many poverty people love to go there. The “Cha Chaan Teng” continues to play an important role in the development of Hong Kong. It reflects and contributes to a Hong Kong identity.

One of the reasons for the popularity of “Cha Chaan Teng” is its efficiency. During the 1950s and 1960s, “Cha Chaan Teng” became popular with Hong Kong's booming industry and factory lifestyle, which led to changes in Hong Kong people’s lifestyle and needs. Since Hong Kong needed a large amount of labour force to boost the economy....
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