Is Hong Kong Racist?

Although Hong Kong is technically a part of China since its reunification in 1997, its “Special Administrative Region” title sets itself apart from the mainland in more ways than just government policies. Since the takeover, there’s been increasing anti-mainlander sentiments from local Hong Kongers due to major cultural differences. The following are some events that have transpired over the last few weeks that further divides Hong Kong Locals and their fellow Chinese from the North.

January 7, 2012

-Security guards prohibit “locals” from taking pictures in front of Dolce and Gabbana

Video from Apple Daily on D& G incident– (In Cantonese. NO English subtitles)

January 8, 2012

-More than 1000 protestors rally against Dolce and Gabbana

Hong Kong Residents Protest Against Dolce and Gabbana-video

January 13, 2012

-Hidden Causes of Hong Kong Dolce and Gabbana Protest

“Locust World”-video

January 15, 2012

-HK women protest against mainland mothers

“We have to compete with the mainlanders for bedspace in hospitals, for prenatal care services, postnatal care, the education of our children… everything!”

HK Women Protest Against Mainland Mothers-article

January 17, 2012

Mainland girl eating noodles on train causes controversy-video

Mainland girl eating noodles on train -article

January 19, 2012

“Many Hong Kong people are dogs,” these are the words of Beijing University professor Kong Qingdong.

Beijing Professor calls Hong Kong Residents Bastards and Dogs-video

Hong Kong Protest Beijing Professor Calling them “Dogs”– video and article

What are your thoughts about all of this controversy?

Post them on my facebook page here.

Have you seen my other Hong Kong Posts?

Hong Kong MTR vs. New York MTA

Hong Kong Food vs. New York Food

Hong Kong “Sets” the Standard on Meals

25 Things U.S. visitors should know about Hong Kong

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4 thoughts on “Is Hong Kong Racist?

  1. Apart from the whole mainlanders vs Hong Kong stuff, I’d also like to mention the stigma that being Filipino (or any other racial minority in Hong Kong) carries. We tend to be seen as lesser, and there aren’t many protections for racial minorities in Hong Kong.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I’m not so familiar with the protection laws in HK. I assumed that anyone legally residing in HK had the same rights with the exception of permanent resident vs non-permanent resident (work/study/dependent visa). Can you explain further? I’m actually very curious. I’m a non-permanent resident and I know I don’t get to enjoy some the same benefits as my husband.

      Coming from a healthcare background in the states, most of my coworkers were Filipino nurses and physical therapists. My friends of course had different professions. It was a bit of a shock for me to see that the majority of Filipinos living in HK are domestic helpers. If not domestic helpers, they’re musicians, waitresses, beer girls, etc. The stigma seems to stem from the jobs available to Filipinos in HK. When I visited Boracay last year, I was told that an average worker makes about $8 US a day. I think the minimum wage is 40 pesos/hour. I understand the need to move to another country for better opportunities. Minorities get picked on every where in the world, especially the U.S. It’s not right but things are probably not going to change any time soon.

  2. Hong Kong people look down on anyone with darker skin, particularly South East Asian such as Filipinos, which is what the poster above seems to be alluding to. The irony is that Hong Kongers look up to Westerners (which to them, means Caucasians) and Japan, despite the fact that Hong Kong was a British colony and occupied by Japan during World War 2. They then look down on Mainland Chinese, despite the fact that cultural differences aside, mainland Chinese are still of the same race. You see the same attitudes in Singapore. It blows my mind when you see Hong Kong people denying that they are Chinese. I appreciate they being Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong Chinese are not the same thing, but to deny that you are Chinese, and to hold yourself out as a separate, superior race to Mainland Chinese people when you are of Chinese ethnicity itself…It is quite astounding!

    I am not denying that some Mainland Chinese tourists have terrible manners, but I rather question the rhetoric (Hong Kong v mainland Chinese) that Hong Kongers’ use and their ‘othering’ of their own people. In addition, Hong Kong people, as the Professor points out, have no right to look down on Mainland Chinese people. Hong Kong people are known for being generally rude and uncouth too, and lacking any manners. So yes, a debate needs to be had about resource use, over-crowding etc in Hong Kong, but the racist rhetoric used by Hong Kongers against other fellow Chinese is ridiculous.

    1. Whoa…are you a writer? Well said. I have the same experience in Taiwan as well. Living in HK, I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to belching in public. Cultural differences should be understood or “tolerated”. Every culture has a good and bad side. Why hate, right? And regarding skin color…growing up in the States, I prefer a more tanned look. In Asia however, it’s considered ugly. So sad.

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