立場新聞 Stand News

World Story of Hong Kong 04

2018/6/19 — 13:29

"I would like to know that people can vote for more, and there would be more people's say when it comes to laws that affect Hong Kong. I would like to see Hong Kong be able to desegregate schooling completely and allow "ethnic minorities" to go to school anywhere without any discrimination, as well as to provide them with proper schooling even if separate. I'd also like if Cantonese courses to be implemented in English schools along with Mandarin or for the government to invest in offering specific courses for that for students who do not go to Cantonese speaking schools. English should also be placed with more importance and significance in schooling if Hong Kong continues to have English-based/English involved University education. My focus though, is on people connecting and being able to understand each other better."

【Author: Lois Orekoya (a girl from Nigeria)】

I'm Lois Orekoya, and I am currently finishing up my bachelor degree in Applied Social Science in Hong Kong. 

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My mother has completed her PhD in Baptist University. I was born in Nigeria but we moved when I was only a year old. My parents are Christians and at that time wanted to share their faith with the world as missionaries. It may not be expected that a family from Nigeria would pack up and move like that out of faith but they were visionaries and decided to do it. My parents first went to Singapore with all three of us kids and got their higher diploma's/bachelor degrees. My mother got one from an American university and soon after applied to be a teacher in a fairly new international school in Chengdu, China. This was in 2001, and then we went onto live in Chengdu for seven years. In those seven years I enjoyed my childhood even though I was visibly different. I had some good friends and was very playful and friendly. I found that the people around me were just very interested in me and how I looked, I knew people would take pictures of me or want to touch my hair. Some kids chanted "Hei ren! Hei ren! (黑人!黑人!)" "Black person! Black person!" but I didn't take much offense to that, it just got a bit annoying. I was a kid so I didn't know what racial injustice or inequality was. I also didn't feel and still don't feel they said it out of contempt or to make me feel bad, they were just stunned to see a black person. I was educated in an American curriculum international school, with American values and also based on the Christian faith. English is my first language and the only language that I know one hundred percent. I graduated with an Associate degree through the Community College of City University and then am now completing my Bachelor's in City University SCOPE in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University.

My mother decided she wanted to expand her education. She had received a master's education via the international school and she wanted to continue forth to a PhD. At that time, we had been living in Suriname, South America for three years. I was only 16 years old when she decided to move to Hong Kong for her PhD, so my mother brought me along as I was still a minor. When we got to Hong Kong I had a bit of a culture shock from Suriname. Suriname is a small place and doesn't have a huge population, there are no major buildings or anything of the sort. I was very stunned by all the malls and the size of the malls in Hong Kong, as well as how shiny and cool some things are. I think I remember searching one of the malls online in Suriname and marveling at the clothing shops and brand names. So, Hong Kong was a lot for me. But also in terms of how everyone seemed to keep their face forward, walking and minding their own business, closed off it seemed, everyone was reserved. I didn't really have friends at first or know where the ins and outs of Hong Kong entertainment or arts life was like so I actually thought that there wasn't enough creativity here. I was thinking to myself "It's all finance, it's all business!" I wanted to see more of the culture. I also expected it to be more like New York City, and feel more diverse. Rather, I've learned that people in Hong Kong a lot of times stay in their own little pockets of people, and that language is actually a huge barrier preventing further integration and needs to be properly disseminated for multiculturalism to flourish here. 

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After a while in Hong Kong though, I think that Hong Kong is a very wonderful place to live. I think that it is incredibly safe, it has beaches, and it has mountains. Where I live in Tai Po is so beautiful on a sunny day! I'm constantly taking pictures and sharing them on Instagram. The beauty of Hong Kong whether in the mountains, art, graffiti or architecture, never fails to amaze me. I love the culture of street food and sui mai and dim sum, I love the efficiency of Hong Kong. And over time I have learned that there are some truly kind-hearted souls here and that creativity does blossom in parts of Hong Kong, you just have to go looking for it. It's an adventurous place that you can keep exploring and where you can hear many languages on any given day, it's nice. There's still a lot of work to be done to improve social cohesion and just overall understanding amongst everyone living in Hong Kong, but the rest of the world has to work on that as well.

I believe that Hong Kong does have the potential to hold onto what currently stands and the opportunities and the freedoms that are available in Hong Kong; freedom of speech, of press, the economic sector. However, I also know that it all depends on those who have the power to enact changes to those opportunities and freedoms. The present situation of Hong Kong I think is alright, but I would like there to be more freedoms. I would like to know that people can vote for more, and there would be more people's say when it comes to laws that affect Hong Kong. I would like to see Hong Kong be able to desegregate schooling completely and allow "ethnic minorities" to go to school anywhere without any discrimination, as well as to provide them with proper schooling even if separate. I'd also like if Cantonese courses to be implemented in English schools along with Mandarin or for the government to invest in offering specific courses for that for students who do not go to Cantonese speaking schools. English should also be placed with more importance and significance in schooling if Hong Kong continues to have English-based/English involved University education. My focus though, is on people connecting and being able to understand each other better. I wouldn't know what else to say. I can only say, I am happy that Hong Kong is at least the way it is now, and I hope that things can improve in the future. However, I am cautiously hoping because the future is very unpredictable these days.

[May 16, 2018]

 

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