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Commentary:   A Myth about Hong Kong

          Reading a variety of Hong Kong blogs would provide you with a broader view and a more accurate picture of Hong Kong. On the other hand, if you read only blogs by people from a small HK minority, you would get only a partial view of this dynamic city.

      Hong Kong is said to be a "world city", but it is not a Western city. It may come as a surprise to you that Westerners compose merely 2% of HK's population; this small minority is highly transient. HK's main population, the Chinese majority, do not speak English at home; English is not the natives' mother tongue. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, nearly all the Westerners living in HK can speak a few words of Cantonese at the most. With a population of seven million plus, Hong Kong is now a one-English-newspaper town — we don't count the free-of-charge one that is now struggling to survive — while dozens of daily newspapers in Chinese roll off the press in this city everyday choked with ads. This sole English-language daily, which has a steadily declining circulation for decades, publishes in a language that most Hongkongers cannot read and its target readership is not the city's majority population.

      Image can be deceiving. Unlike the image usually projected and perpetuated by the so-called "HK lifestyle" websites and some Western media, Hong Kong is largely a segregated city by class and race. It has always been and still is. You need not look further than the blogrolls of the English-language blogs based here in the city to see how socially segregated Hong Kong actually is.

      You have to look far and hard to find a male native's blog on an expat's blogroll. This fact is even more startling, considering the large number of English-language and bi-lingual HK blogs by the Chinese available. You can also tell how socially integrated the two groups are by the way the HK Chinese write and speak English. When Hongkongers need to speak our second language, we generally speak it in a form of regional English that has its own distinctive syntax and pronunciations. This could well be caused by the lack of any meaningful social interactions the two groups have with each other. The reality is that the two groups, the majority and the Western expats, by and large, do not socialize with one another on the Internet or in person. To be fair, both groups tend to be clannish and exclusive; or, perhaps it is only human nature. Believe it or not, seeing a Chinese man having a casual social dinner with a Westerner is one of the rarest sights in Hong Kong. However, that being said, we must remind our readers that through our works, we have met a fair number of amiable Westerners both in person and online.

      Our purpose of pointing out the facts here is to dispel a common myth about Hong Kong — truth ought to be told. As for the reason of this social phenomenon, we will leave it to the others to analyze or speculate.

      Hong Kong Blogs Review, as the premier blog reviewer in this city, encourages you, our readers, to read blogs by people from all segments of our society, including our minority groups as well as the majority. As the saying goes, "variety is the spice of life".

      Go forth and spice up your life!

On Commentators:
    "If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should
read Shakespeare.  If we wish to see the insignificance of
human learning, we may study his commentators."

                            - William Hazlitt

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