Society

Goodbye, To Kwa Wan

  • 2019-06-01

After a fatal building collapse in To Kwa Wan, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has announced a number of redevelopment projects in the district since 2016. While most residents accepted the government's compensation, many say moving away from the neighbourhood is not about money.

Hong Kong Fishermen's Ballads: A history in songs

  • 2019-05-27

Fishermen's ballads are a form of oral history of Hong Kong's dwindling fishing community. Our reporter, Zinnia Lee tells the story of how these songs have become a form of Intangible Cultural Heritage for Hong Kong and what the younger generation is doing to preserve them.

Is Hong Kong a safe place for men to crossdress?

  • 2019-05-10

The frilly, dark lace trimmings embroidered around Tsang Ching’s knee-length, eccentric red dress stood in stark contrast to the modernity of the bustling streets of Mong Kok. With immaculate makeup and long, soft curls fanned over her shoulders, Tsang Ching strutted past the sardine-packed markets in a pair of black suede knee-high boots. Biologically male, Ms. Tsang identifies and dresses as female. She first started crossdressing began when she tried on her first pair of stockings at the age of six. During secondary school, she would crossdress at home borrowing clothing from her family members, only to put them back when she felt satisfied. But as she did not have the money to buy shoes and wigs until she turned 23. Now, Ms. Tsang, 33, works as an organising secretary for a labour non-profit organisation and dresses as a woman every day. Her colleagues are largely accepting of her identity, she says, and adds that the major objection comes from her wife. "Some think crossdressers are gay, and that’s the reason why they do crossdressing. Or they would straight up think that I am a pervert because I was dressing so femininely", said Ms. Tsang, "I want to be treated as a female even though I don’t hate being male." With increased LGBT exposure in recent years, whether or not Hong Kong has progressed into a safe place for men to publicly crossdress remains a question. "Each time crossdressing is used in Hong Kong and Chinese media, it is sometimes laughable. It is used as comedy." said Brenda Rodriguez Alegre, a transgender lecturer of Gender Studies at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Hong Kong. "I think socially, logically and psychologically, safe is a complex term to use. Maybe you will be safe in the sense that you …

Percentage charge in handling fees for Sevens’ tickets on official sale platforms varies

  • 2019-04-05
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Vanessa Yung、Anna Kam、Hailey ManEdited by: Phoebe Lai、Yetta Lam
  • 2019-04-05

It’s advertised as "where the world comes to play" by sponsors. This weekend, tens of thousands of rugby fans from around the world will cheer their teams at the annual on Hong Kong Rugby Sevens at Hong Kong stadium. According to the Rugby Union’s audit report, income from "entry and admission fees" raked in $1.3 million Hong Kong dollars. The finals on Sunday usually draw the largest number of spectators every year and tickets for those top team matches are sometimes hard to come by. For years, scalpers would approach fans, typically at Causeway Bay MTR station to offer tickets to those desperate to see the finals. This year, the Hong Kong Rugby Union announced in October 2018, that the tickets were going to remain the same price as last year staying at $1950 for a full three day tournament ticket. Currently, there are no laws in Hong Kong regulating ticket scalping. An online scalper who refused to give his name, claimed that he sold a three-day ticket package for $3600. That’s a 80% markup on the original price. "Few Hong Kong local fans would pay thousands dollars for the Sevens tickets. Buyers are mostly staff from insurance companies who want to offer tickets to their clients, [as a gift]," the anonymous seller explained. According to the Hong Kong Sevens official website, Hong Kong identity card holders can enter a ballot in which tickets would be randomly allocated. Each person can apply for up to two tickets and a total 9,000 tickets would be sold this way. Visitors from overseas can purchase the "Essential Sevens Travel package" from travel agents listed. There are also "hospitality packages" from, for example, Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). One of the travel agents on the website, Keith Prowse Travel, …

Photo Essay

Sevens' Week: Hong Kong Sevens takes off

Sevens' major sponsor Cathay Pacific started showcasing an array of rugby footballs in prints of Hong Kong signature items, such as crispy eggettes and neon street signs during a promotional event at Hysan Place in Causeway Bay last Friday. With less than a week left, the Sevens has been hyping up for the annual Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. Cathay Pacific is holding an exhibition of their featured collection for this year's event, the "Collectaballs". The "Collectaballs" are a series of ten rugby footballs decorated in prints of items that represent Hong Kong. Prints include Hong Kong's common household tile game Mahjong, blue and white prints on porcelain cups used in Hong Kong traditional restaurants, dragon dance costumes seen in Chinese New Year, sweet "pineapple" buns, Cheung Chau's "Ping On" buns, prints on nylon-canvas carrier bags, words in Chinese Kickass font created by Hong Kong designer kit Man and Cathay Pacific Airways' iconic sign can all been seen in ten rugby footballs shown at the shopping mall's entrance. Try out their interactive private preview of the games beside the iconic rugby footballs exhibit. The promotion will be last till April 7th at Hysan Place. Stay tuned to our coverage on other related events coming on the Sevens.

Real-life Quidditch: More than Just a Harry Potter By-Product

  • 2019-03-29

The much-anticipated match commenced with "Brooms Up!" Players darted towards the balls in the centre of the field, makeshift broomsticks held between their legs.  On both sides of the pitch stood three ring-shaped, silver goalposts of different heights. Quidditch is a familiar sport for Harry Potter fans, but now, the fictional game has been brought to life. Full-contact and physically intense, the magical sport leaped off the pages in 2005 when freshmen Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe of Middlebury College in Vermont, US, co-created the rules of land-based Quidditch and dubbed it "Muggle Quidditch". A myriad of university teams are playing the sport from UC Berkeley in the US and McGill University and Carleton University in Canada  to recently in Asia, the University of Hong Kong. J.K. Rowling's wizarding world of Harry Potter continues to strike a chord with aficionados across the world, though the last installment of the fantasy series was in 2011. Fusing together a variety of elements from rugby, dodgeball, volleyball and tag, a Quidditch team has seven players per team on the field, who must keep a makeshift broomstick - usually a plastic bar or light metal stick - between their legs at all times during the game. In order to score, chasers of each team throw the quaffle (a volleyball) through the hoops as the keepers race to ward off their attacks. Beaters can attack players' of the opposing team using bludgers (two dodgeballs). The job of the seeker, the position that Harry Potter himself held, is to catch the "golden snitch" - a neutral player who has a yellow tennis ball attached to the back of his or her pants. The International Quidditch Association says the sport is gender inclusive with no more than than four players of the same sex allowed on the …

Photo Essay

Weekend Review: Handwritten signboards reveal Hong Kong's culture and history

Two of our reporters joined traditional signboard calligrapher Lee Kin-ming on a tour to rediscover the hidden gems of Hong Kong on signboards along streets in San Po Kong.

People

Weekend Review: Word art on signboards remains in Hong Kong

Two of our reporters join a signboards tour in San Po Kong and uncover the untold tale of a historical Chinese word font. Ever heard of the Chinese font Li Han Kong Kai ? Before it stepped foot into the world of typography, it was made up of 3600 Chinese word samples from Li Han, who used to be a signboard calligrapher before he retired. Those word samples were later passed down to his grandson Lee Kin-ming, who is continuing Mr.Li Han’s work in their family-run factory. "Signboards of large companies are everywhere and everyone can notice them,  but it is not the same for small shops' handmade signboards," said Mr. Lee Kin-ming, who holds regular guided tours in the weekends to introduce long-standing signboards in the city that are usually overlooked.  Compared to other old  districts such as Kwun Tong, most of the shops  in San Po Kong have a longer history so their signboards are still reserved, according to Mr. Lee in one of his guided tour held in the weekend before. He said signboards in Hong Kong are usually clear and visible from a distance. "Hong Kong shop keepers prefer grandeur fonts with thick strokes. For example, the Beiwei font looks  imposing since hooks inside the characters are relatively large," he said. Bone clinics and martial clubs usually use the Beiwei font for their  signboards, while the Clerical script font is for more artistic uses, he added.   For sign boards with  more complicated characters. Mr. Lee said  he uses rulers and French curves to draw curved alphabets such as the English letter "U" and for numbers,  he photocopies those on his calendar and follow them to draw. For example, the Biaukai font, of which strokes in words are usually separated,  has been disliked by many signboard …

People

Weekend Review: Post 90s woman writes to break social stigma

Comprised of stories shared by 29 individuals from the post 90s, Choy Po-yin talked about her book, Salt To The Sea: Interviews of The Post 90s’ Generation, in a sharing event organised by the Art and Culture Outreach in Lok Sin Tong Wong Chung Ming Secondary last Saturday. "Apart from writing a novel, I hold talks to discuss the topic [labelling the post 90s in society] with the public to change people's perception of the post 90s" explained to Choy Po-yin, writer of the book, Salt To The Sea: Interviews of The Post 90s" Generation. "I can feel that I [as part of the post 90s] carry a lot of labels, so I want to clear all of them," she said. There is a phenomenon in society that the post 90s, who value their opinions and embrace diversity, "are always on the frontline," she added. More people [those of the post 90s] has already met their basic living needs, so they turned to focus on other concerns, said Jacob, born in 1992 and was reluctant to reveal their full name, said.   "The post 90's may be satisfied with their material lives but  it does not fulfill their spiritual desires, so they are stepping up to pursue something more valuable, such as equality and justice," said Kilo, another interviewee born in 1994. Author Ms. Choy said various banners seen in Hong Kong's large-scale socio-political movements on issues including climate change and civic engagement have been demonstrating a society they [the post 90s] desire.

"Dying" before death in the millennium: An increasing number of millennials take part in public engagement on death education

  • 2019-02-28

"You wake up to see yourself lying in a hospital bed. You are being told by a doctor that you were rushed to the hospital by the taxi driver. The next thing you know you are dying. Your heart pounds though as your body stays frozen. Millions of questions pop and memories of your life replay. Do I need a funeral? Do I donate my organs? What about my money? What about everyone? Will anyone remember me? Will they come and visit my grave? If anyone is ready, please open your eyes and write down your death note."   Art therapist, Michelle Chan Wan-chee, in her mid-30s, paused the meditation session of the death-education workshop, organised by an independent bookstore, Stay within Bookspace, in Chai Wan on a Sunday in January. She asked the 15 participants to write down their feelings and share it in small groups. Louis Chuk Ka-lok, 21, who runs the bookstore, said his traumatic experience with the deaths of his mother and grandmother made him want to help others rehearse and prepare before death happens in real life. Like this workshop, a handful of private organisations in Hong Kong are starting to offer interactive and reflective death-education experiences, as more people call for better public awareness of the value of life and death. Hong Kong needs death education because society is ageing faster, said Lam Ching-choi, CEO of the Haven of Hope Christian Service and chairman of the Elderly Commission, at a health conference at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.   Government data has shown an inversely proportional phenomenon on the demographics in Hong Kong. From 2014 to 2018, the number of birth in Hong Kong showed an average annual reduce of 2,150; while the number of death from 2014 to 2018 showed an average annual increase …