Archive for January, 2014
The lives of stuntmen are a mystery to people outside the film production industry. The daredevil moves and seemingly impossible stunts performed by your favourite actors are often the efforts of the stuntmen and stuntwomen who put their lives on the line day in, day out. Varsity looks into this behind-the-scenes industry and the joys and pains of being a stuntman.
Government proposals to import more foreign labour to make up for the shortfall in manpower for the construction industry has sparked fierce debate. But it seems the potential of the local workforce has not been fully utilised. Many of Hong Kong’s local ethnic minorities are employed in the construction industry. Yet, discrimination is rife and prospects for career advancement limited by the language barrier.
Tucked away behind the busy streets of Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong’s last professional letter-writers ply a trade that has existed in Hong Kong for more than a hundred years. Their heyday was during colonial times, when many hired their English translation and writing services. The field is in decline now, but the letter writers say they’ll keep on writing.
Some Hong Kong parents pay high school fees to let their children have an international education in the city’s international schools but at one government-aided primary school in Mid-levels, local and expatriate pupils learn with and from each other in a setting that mixes local and international elements. Varsity meets and teachers and children of this multicultural school.
It’s hard to imagine life without tap water in modern, affluent Hong Kong. But for those that live in the 20 plus villages that do not have treated water supply, this is a daily reality. Varsity meets the villagers who are fighting to have this most basic resource in their homes.
In recent years, the term ‘gang piao’, literally ‘Hong Kong drifters’ has been used to describe the educated young mainlanders who study and then work in Hong Kong. The gang piao identify with and have taken to Hong Kong’s culture, language and values to varying degrees. Some mix only with other gang piao and speak Putonghua, while others have learnt Cantonese and find themselves changed by their Hong Kong experience. Varsity hears some of their stories.
The ever increasing number of visitors to Hong Kong means the demand for accommodation keeps going up, yet hotel accommodation in Hong Kong is notoriously expensive. Youth hostels could provide a decent, safe and reasonably-priced alternative for those who want to experience Hong Kong but most of them are currently in remote areas and serve hikers. Is there room for more hostels in easily accessed areas?