Global Business Cultural Analysis: Hong Kong
Dr. Maria Marin
Hong Kong has been inhabited for millennia, with the early Che people settling the land early on. During the period of the Warring States in Mainland China, Yuet people immigrated from the north and forcibly assimilated the Che people. During the time of the Qin Dynasty Hong Kong was made a part of unified Imperial China. Throughout the Han Dynasty in the 10th century the region grew in economic importance as a result of the local pearl industry. When the Mongols invaded China, Hong Kong saw a large influx of refugees from Mainland China, creating a population boom and further enlarging the already strong economy that had built around Hong Kong as a maritime trading port. In the 19th century, Britain, faced with a growing trade deficit with China due to the British appetite for tea, expanded its sale of opium to China dramatically. The ruling Qing Dynasty disapproved, and banned the sale of opium. Britain pushed the issue by declaring war, and occupied Hong Kong Island by 1831.
The British would control Hong Kong until World War II. The Japanese seized the region briefly during World War II. Shortly after the war, the declaration of Communist China led to a new wave of refugees to British Hong Kong. As China continued to pursue an isolationist stance during the Communist era, Hong Kong became an important connection between the West and the mainland, and one of the only avenues for goods to come to and from China. Hong Kong continued to develop as an economic center, phasing out industry and focusing on financial services and banking. In the 1980s, the British and Chinese negotiated a treaty whereby the entire region of Hong Kong, not just the area leased by the British, would be handed over to the Chinese in 1997. In return, the Chinese government would manage Hong Kong as a special administrative region, giving it a great deal of autonomy, and leaving its institutions virtually unchanged for at least another 50 years. In 1997, sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred from the British to China (Gentle, 2013). Religion
Hong Kong has a multicultural population with Chinese, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Hindus, each with their own set of beliefs and philosophy. The Chinese have three primary religions, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, each with separate teachings and proverbs that have made their way into belief systems throughout their long histories. Ancestral worship plays an important role in Hong Kong society. The Chinese people believe that a person has two souls. The first soul is created during conception and continues to stay in the grave with the corpse when the person dies. Buddhism is a religion developed by Siddhartha Gotama, who was born in Lumbini, in modern-day Nepal. After living a life of privilege, then giving it up for a life of asceticism, Siddhartha became enlightened, or awakened, to the idea that the only way to escape suffering in life is through practicing deliberate non-attachment. Today, that initial meditation has led to the practice of Buddhism in about six percent of the world’s population. Siddhartha’s, or as he was renamed, Buddha’s awakening evolved into the teachings of the Four Noble Truths. The first truth is that life is composed of suffering, physical and mental. The second is that we have pain on earth because we are attached to the world or despise the world. The third truth is that true happiness is possible on earth, depending upon the degree to which we can detach ourselves from wanting worldly things. Finally, the fourth truth is that the Noble Eightfold path is the path toward achieving this detachment and thus attaining Nirvana (McRae, 1995). Confucianism is a set of ethical beliefs, sometimes called a religion, that were developed from the teachings of the scholar Confucius, who lived in the 6th century in China. His theories and philosophy gave...
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