Monthly Archives: July 2014

The City I Do Not Recognize

Since 2004, I have been going back to my birth city, Hong Kong every year for approximately two to three weeks to visit my family. It has been very different for the last two years.
The political climate has changed for the worse. The city still looks prosperous. People are still making money. Food is still the culture

  • Protest in the streets – There are regular June 4 commemoration on the Tiananmen Square Massacre, July 1 demonstration against the Beijing appointed Chief Executive. etc.
  • The wealth gap – There are jewellery stores, stores for luxury goods, watches, fashion… People are lining up into those shops. I have to ask, who are these people? Are there that many top earning one-percenters?
  • Cost of housing – I read from the local newspaper that the cost of a condo is approximately CAN$2,000 per square foot. Developers are building condos that the buyers have no right to pre-view. The demand is so great that the potential buyers have to put their name in a lottery to have chance to buy a 177 square foot condo.

People around me said this is normal here.
I was born here. I can no longer recognize this place.


The Intersection of the Three Ortho’s

Timing is everything. Sometime things just happened for the right time for the occasion. I was in Truro giving a cultural workshop.

I walked into Ryan Duffy’s for a bit to eat. The place was not that busy. The waitress ignored me when I walked in. I sat down. Waited for about 15 minutes. I was not even given a menu. No server even acknowledges my existence. Three guys came in to the bar and they were served immediately. Another table of four came in was also immediately served. I tried to make eye contact with one server and she deliberately looked away. I walked out after 20 minutes and I supposed they were glad that they don’t have to serve a non-white person.

Race may not be the issue. I was not sitting by the bar. I was told that people sat be the bar spent more and gave more tips. The servers would give attention for those who sat by the bar. It was not the case. It was a hot evening and most people sat on the deck outside the restaurant. Well, they did not make any money from me.

In recent months, politicians in Nova Scotia were all talks about how welcoming this province is. The reality is, it is NOT. Especially in the rural area of the Maritimes, life may be difficult.

I talked about White Privilege in my last post. It is not the privilege that is the problem. The issues are the lack of access and ignorance that a sub-culture face on a daily basis. The politicians can always refer to more understanding and education. I believe it needs a lot more. True acceptance needs all three elements.

  • Orthodoxy – the right knowledge, opinion,
  • Orthopraxy – the right practice, action, and
  • Orthocardia – the right heart, attitude.

A multicultural society will not exist unless all of these three elements are present.