Archive for the ‘Periscope’ Category
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain to China in 1997. That was the year in which most of the reporters working on this issue of Varsity were born. In Periscope, we take a look back on some of the issues that have shaped Hong Kong in the past 20 years.
On the first working day after the handover on July 1st 1997, the mainland-born children of Hong Kong permanent residents lined up to claim residency rights under Article 24 of the Basic Law, kicking off a years-long struggle known as the right of abode saga. The impact of the legal battles and discourse over mainland new arrivals affect us even today.
In 1997, the government announced a dramatic shift in education policy, replacing English with Chinese as the medium of instruction in Hong Kong schools. Not long afterwards it said it was making the teaching of Chinese in Putonghua a long-term goal. These were just some of the big education reforms that have been instituted in the last 20 years, which have left teachers scrambling to adapt and keep up, and students struggling under heavy workloads.
Hongkonger’s sense of identity and the extent to which they consider themselves to be Chinese have changed in the 20 years since the handover. We talk to those born at pivotal moments in Hong Kong’s recent history – 1967, 1984 and 1997 – and ask how the experiences of their formative years have affected how they see China.
At home and in the world at large, societies seem to be getting more polarised and many are seeing a pushback against globalisation. Boundaries are becoming more apparent. In this issue’s Periscope, Varsity looks at the boundaries and divisions between different groups of people in Hong Kong society.
Conflict between the young and the old has greatly escalated since the Umbrella Movement in 2014. They label each other as “useless youths” and “fogeys” respectively, blaming each other for causing problems in society. Varsity talks to both sides and explores what drives their hostility.
Hong Kong brands itself as an international city, but there is little doubt that race draws lines between people in our city. Varsity talks to people of non-Chinese ethnicity in Hong Kong and learn about the racism and microagressions they encounter, why it happens and how they think it can be tackled.
Traditional life in Hong Kong’s indigenous villages has changed over the years as indigenous villagers move out and outsiders move in. How do these groups get along with one another and how does that compare with the unspoken rules villagers have always used to maintain relations?
In this issue’s Periscope, we look at Hong Kong “localisms” because we thing it’s misleading to think about localism as a single, unified ideology or movement.
“Localists” is an all-embracing term used to describe non-establishment people from outside the traditional pan-democratic camp, but it hides significant ideological differences among those who have been grouped under the label. Varsity takes a deeper look at what divides them.