To what extent was culture in Hong Kong in the second half of the 20th century shaped by foreign cultures?
Hong Kong was a city with diversified culture. Populated with an overwhelming majority of Chinese, Hong Kong had definitely been deeply influenced by traditional Chinese culture and customs. Meanwhile, it had also been governed by Britain for more than a century, and had developed close links with the West. Yet, culture in Hong Kong in the second half of the 20th century still mainly followed Chinese culture and was shaped by foreign cultures to a small extent only. As Hong Kong is mainly a Chinese society, Chinese culture and values, such as Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, are deep-rooted in people’s daily lives. Celebration of Lunar New Year, popularity of Chinese opera, prevalence of Chinese cuisines are good examples. Meanwhile, Chinese “kung fu” movies once dominated the local market and eventually gained worldwide recognition. That explains the importance of Chinese culture in formation of Hong Kong’s unique culture. Apart from that, the British preservation of Chinese tradition accounted for the deep influence of Chinese culture on Hong Kong. After establishing rule over Hong Kong, the British government had always permitted the locals to preserve their Chinese culture and tradition in order to gain their recognition and support. For example, the Great Qing Legal Code was still applicable to the Chinese residents in Hong Kong during the colonial rule, the local religions and customs were kept and Chinese language was not suppressed. Some Chinese continued to wear traditional Chinese-style clothes, such as Hakka village clothes worn by the people in the New Territories. People also wore Chinese-style clothes like cheongsam during Chinese festivals. Thus Hong Kong is able to preserve the Chinese tradition and it maintains its influence on culture of Hong Kong. On the other hand, foreign culture also had a part to play in...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document