Week 12, Who are YOU?? (by Karen Chan)

“Who are you?” If someone asked me this question now, I may possibly have no definite answer. Last year, when I am in the class of Social Psychology, the professor has asked us to write about 10 sentences begin with “I’m……” in order to identify ourselves.

Many of my classmates defined themselves as a Hong Konger, a student, a sister, a son, a Chinese, an American-born Chinese (ABC), somebody’s boyfriend/girl friend…but for me, I would define myself as a Hong Kong-Chinese people. It seems that Hong Kong is much worthy for me than China, as Hong Kong is a special city in China. And in my point of view, Hong Kong is obviously have a higher level of freedom and human rights, or because I live here, and affected by the culture here. I won’t decline myself as a Chinese, but more than that, I think myself as a Hong Konger.

Besides, I was born in 1989, which has been defined as in the group of “Pro-80s” recently. I may think that different people in my generation- the group of Pro-80s, have very strong and different opinions towards different incident. Since that may because we have a higher concern of society, political issue or livelihood, we may have different point of views and actions taken based on our thoughts and our surroundings’ opinions. For instance the issue of anti-high speed railway protest, I think the Pro-80s can be simply classified in 3 groups: support or protest or no comments about the issue. We may strongly stand for our own opinion, and tend to not believe in something that is leading us to think or do, in stead of our own beliefs.

I found one very shocking news last month that the widowed woman in old Hindu communities, whom would either voluntarily or by use of force and coercion immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. The Hindu women are taught that their life belongs to their husband and people believed that if the wife is burnt to death with the body of their husband; they will go to the heaven together. The news is shocking me not only because of the cruel and uncivil traditions, but also the women have no freedom and human rights at all in the old community. I think the most important value in the society is definitely the freedom and the human rights. In my beliefs, individualism is not self fish, but we should learn how to maintain and enjoy of our rights, meanwhile, not to encroach others.

I don’t want to make a generation prescribed as in ages or something like that, since everybody is an individuals shared different lifestyle, education, culture and religion etc. But my parents is 52-56 years old, born in Hong Kong, live here (Hong Kong) for their whole life; share similar lifestyle with me, supposedly share a similar beliefs with me too. But in reality, they are not. They would think that my pursuit of freedom or human rights is a kind of redundant and meaningless, they tend to/ willing to listen to the government and chasing the harmony of life more.

Thus, why would we have so much different opinions and identity to ourselves and others? Since the media is the most important medium to spread the news and information to the society, most of the culture, self-identity and thoughts is constructing by the media and the society unconsciously. For instance, how you build up an identity of being a man or women? The media, the society and also our parents, whom have already taught by the society, tells a boy should be strong, not wearing dress, talk like a man, love the man-like stuffs but not the pink or cutie thing. But in contrast, a girl is totally different from the man’s living style, and should do all the stuffs that a boy would never do. Otherwise, we may defined as a jerk or an abnormal person.

Consequently, media is just one very important medium to construct our basic culture. Based on the different lifestyle and background, people should have different self-identity and opinions towards incidents. So, who are you?

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