#hongkong

Culture & Leisure

Different Faces, Same Values

Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Chungking Mansions is not only a landmark but also a hub of different cultures with many ethnic minorities. Walking out from Tsim Sha Tsui station, Muhammed Hussain is used to the hustle and bustle of the crowd. Many have East Asian faces, speaking Mandarin or Korean loudly with a draw- bar box in hand. Many of these tourists with money to burn love the emporiums where they can easily find popular designer brands such as Louis Vuitton or Gucci. It's 12:03pm. Hussain looks down at his watch as he waits for the traffic light to cross busy Nathan Road. In a few hours, white-collar workers and tourists will head to the nearby historic Peninsula Hotel for afternoon tea. But neither the Peninsula nor the emporium is Hussain's destination. Instead, he steps through an inconspicuous building entrance and heads upstairs to his mobile phone shop. Everyday Hussain, a 20 year-old Pakistani man, follows the same routine. He meets 20 to 30 customers a day until he closes his shop at 9 pm. He may go for a late lunch, usually curry and rice, not because he likes it but because it is a common menu in the building. Just like other commercial buildings in the neighborhood, there are many mobile phone shops, money changers and restaurants. But unlike other buildings, restaurants here mainly sell Indian food and most shopkeepers are South Asian and African men. The building's name is Chungking Mansions, and it's history is full of mystery and lore to even locals and the tourists who know it for its cheap accommodation. Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, one of the most prosperous districts in Hong Kong, Chungking Mansions has never been seen as a part of Hong Kong, even after being chosen as a landmark …