Week 12, by Janice Kong

Chinese or Hong Konger? Although Hong Kong is a part of China, it was the colony of British. This makes us to think that we are separate from China and thus people are more used to say they are Hong Kongers. When people ask about my nationality, my answer is just the same as most Hong Kong people. However, now, I have hesitation about the answer. In the past, I was confidence to say I am a Hong Kong people. When telling others I am from Hong Kong, especially when visiting in the mainland China, seems that I am more superior. For me, the identity of Hong Kong carried a message of civilization. We are being educated, from in a modern city which is stable and prosperous. Thus, it is a positive label.

However, the advantages of Hong Kong are being deemphasized while the influential of China towards Hong Kong as well as the world is sharply increased in the recent years. The rapid development of economic and the great success of Beijing Olympic in 2008 have promoted the international status of China. At the same time, more and more national education and high coverage of news about China are received from the media over these 12 years. Combing with different reasons, my national identity of Chinese is being stronger and stronger. On the other hand, there are several fundamental problems that make China being criticized by the others, such as the problem of fake products and poor condition of human rights. As referring to the question of nationality, I remember a person has suggested a way to answer and I think I will do the same. That person suggested that whether answering you are Hong Kongers or Chinese, the best answer should depends on where you are and what topic is being discussed.

For many youngsters, most of us are confused about our nationality identity but the truth is that we do not take it as a serious issue to think it seriously. The political sense in our generation is relatively low. In contrast, we spend much time and effort on a virtual world. Mobile phone and computer become an essential part of our daily life. The all-in-one function mobile phones and computers have replaced many face to face interaction and real–life social activities with our family members and friends. We share and communicate with others by using the online communication tools such as facebook, Xanga, MSN etc. These communication tools allow us to share our messages no longer limited on text but delivering with images, sounds, video and audience can give instant responses to the sender. Thanks to the technology, many innovative communication styles are being found so as to provide a lot of fun and interesting to us. For example, Facebook is now the most popular communication network. One thing we enjoy most is to receive and give out instant comment with any friends. Sometimes, the comments are supportive and funny which let us feel cheerful. Teenagers are just hard to avoid and even addict on them as we value entertainment and social with friends.

To share about the use of Facebook with my mother, she is surprised about everything. As she is not a computer user, she does not know about the Internet. She is not only surprise with the convenient given in communication of Facebook but also teenagers now are sharing their personal life and feeling with people they even not familiar with. For their generation, people wrote down their feeling or ideas in diary which was not supposed to disclose. Although they also liked talking with friends, they only share their personal feeling with close friends or mostly they kept it as their own secrete. Therefore, it is hard for her to understand why people in our generation type everything on a public sphere.

I have also asked my mother about her media usage pattern or entertainment in her generation. However, due to the poor living condition when she was young, she said it was far away to afford any entertainment, let alone to have a radio. My mother was living in a village in mainland and gave help in the farm. “I only wanted no more farming work!”. When I asked my mother about what was her dream, she told me without hesitation. Finally, she was able to live in Hong Kong and her dream came true. The reason for my mother to leave farming is because of the instability and harshness she faced. Of course, due to the improvement on living condition, what I think and want are very different from my mother. It is hard to tell what I exactly want to do in my future career but I am looking for a job that I can develop myself. In the rest of the time, I can do some volunteer works and visit different parts of the world in order to work out my life in meaningful and enjoyable manners.

The developing of technology and growth of economic change what people pursue in their life as well as our values change. For me, some important values are still preserving and love is one of the most important values for us. The value of love is not only limit on the relationship between couples. People nowadays are also concern and looking for love on their friendship and family members. Although many of us do not know how to work it out, we seek love to make ourselves feeling affiliate and being valued. We value love because most of us still believe love is the core to bring happiness to our life. However, many people think Hong Kong is now a city where people value much on materialism, entertainment and are self-oriented. Despite of the importance of love to us, it is hard to deny that sometimes love have become related to materialism, entertainment and self-satisfaction. For many people, they are friends but they are each other’s partner for games only. Many women want to have true love but they also looking for men who can satisfy their needs on materials. In my opinion, it is difficult to tell it is good or bad, however, it is a way to preserve the tradition value while integrating with the present important value in our society.

No matter things are physically existing or intangible, we would like to preserve which we value in our generation. However, our society keeps changing in every minute. From the media, the life of the older generation is being informed. For example, we, this generation know the song Under the Lion Rock and the plastic bag, “Red, White, Blue” are symbols to represent the spirit of hard-working and flexible of the Hong Kongers but it is hard for us to receive the same sympathy as our parents. One day, the time we communicate with friends via Facebook, Xanga and MSN will also become the collectively memory of our generation.

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