Hello, my name is Godfrey Chan, and welcome to my blog, HongKongholic! I’m hoping that you would get to know a bit about me first, and get a feel of what my blog is going to be about.
As a brief introduction, I was born in Hong Kong and moved to a small town called North Delta, a suburb of Vancouver, Canada, when I was little. I grew up relatively isolated in a small town where my house situate at a cul-de-sac was my world entire. I read English and History at the University of British Columbia and upon completion of undergraduate studies, I wanted to “see the world.”
To me, Hong Kong is an exciting place, full of opportunities. One day, my mother suggested to me I could study law, and so I applied and was accepted to the Juris Doctor program at the University of Hong Kong. Through some twist and turns, the law school nominated me to complete my 3rd year at the University of Pennsylvania which allowed me to obtain a master’s degree in law there.
What is Hong Kong?
Hong Kong was (and is) a place which has turned me from a village boy into a what I will call a “HongKongholic.” Hong Kong is a place where people work, work and work. Behind the glory on the surface, there are stories of struggle, passion, love (and love lost), and helplessness. I wanted to create a blog to write about stories of HongKongers. As I spent much of my childhood outside of Hong Kong, Hong Kong was alien to me when I arrived many years later.
Hong Kong was a place which was a different one from that of my childhood. I read about what one called a “third culture kid.” But I was not a third culture kid. I was both a “Canadian” (to be precise, Hong Kong born Chinese-Canadian) and a “HongKonger” (and, to be precise again, a Chinese national). I am not neither nor, or a “third” kind. I am all of the above, and proudly so. But what does this all mean?
Hong Kong spirit
My parents grew up in 1960s Hong Kong. Many HongKongers of my parents’ generation believe many youngsters (i.e. so-called post-1990s children) lack work ethics and the so-called “Hong Kong spirit” they embodied. When I came to Hong Kong, I was once a proud boy who studied hard in school and thought a bright future was ahead of me.
After all, I was admitted to the law school of the University of Hong Kong, one of the finest law schools in Asia. In my admissions essay, I wrote about Hong Kong as gateway to China, which embodies the soul of both the East and the West, a place where free thoughts could enter China, change China, and, well, make China great again (and of course, our Dr. Sun Yat Sen, father of modern China, attempted to do just this).
Hong Kong is dying?
But today’s Hong Kong is a different place. This is not the Hong Kong our parents grew up in. Having grew up in Canada, I bare witness in Hong Kong to many things which are, well, “different.” I don’t even know where to begin to talk about – be it political, social, or just the general state of society. As one famous TVB actor once said, “Hong Kong is dying.” Is Hong Kong really dying? And if Hong Kong is really dying, what I am doing here?
I am here to share how one could, in the face of hardship, in the face of social injustice, in the face of what is becoming of this ever so cruel world, analyse what has become of our society, better understand it, appreciate it, and find how each of us can control our own fate and destiny by refusing to accept what our society ought not become (or alternatively, figure out what we can do to make it what it ought to become).
What is HongKongholic, anyway?
I remember watching the movie Starship Troopers, where one character said, “Figuring things out for yourself is the only freedom anyone really has.” This blog is a place where we can figure what is happening to our society and how we can make Hong Kong a better place, even if it appears to be impossible to do so. I believe that if we cared enough, there is still hope for us to control our own destiny.