Imagine living by the beach in Stanley and practising canoeing and windsurfing as part of your school sports activities. This is not just the preserve of the rich and privileged elite, but also for the boys from the Hong Kong Sea School. Students at the school are mainly academically lower-achieving boys from underprivileged backgrounds. The school's maritime-based curriculum and strict discipline are designed to train them jobs in the maritime and hospitality industries.
Traditional Chinese paper crafts have been used in funeral rites, ancestor worship and temple festivals for centuries. But in Hong Kong, the craft is being kept alive by masters who are branching out into modern uses of this ancient art - breaking taboos to use their skills to make decorations and furnishings.

The Taste of Childhood

Hong Kong’s traditional Chinese bakeries stay the course despite fierce competition

New Stars of Cantonese Opera

No longer considered a pastime for the elderly, Cantonese Opera is finding a new generation of devotees. Varsity meets the young Cantonese Opera performers who are spearheading the revival of a tradition that has been recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Thanks to its rich natural resources and access to quality shrimps, Tai O has been renowned for its scrumptious shrimp paste. But the ban on trawling has shifted the production line to the Mainland. Varsity asks long-established brands how they see the future of their businesses.

Re-living World War II

In our city of skyscrapers, many people might be surprised to learn that many relics from World War II still survive. Without proper heritage protection, many of these historical structures are slowly eroding or being reclaimed by nature. With their deterioration and the passing of veterans who fought in the war, an important part of Hong Kong's history is fading away.
The mostly abandoned 400 year-old Hakka village of Lai Chi Wo is about to undergo a transformation with plans to convert derelict village houses into heritage holiday homes.

Till the Cows Come Home

They were abandoned as Hong Kong's farming industry dwindled. Now Hong Kong's cows and buffaloes roam the countryside they see as home. Some people see them as a nuisance, others as "indigenous" residents who should be protected.
Made in Hong Kong local manufacturing industry

Made in Hong Kong

The Chinese Manufacturer's Association says there are almost no factories still operating in Hong Kong. But some companies remain optimistic that local manufacturing won't die out and do all their production here.

Hard To Say Goodbye

Wah Fu Estate, with its ocean views, spectacular sunsets, fresh sea breezes and a Pok Fu Lam address, is not a luxury residential complex but a public housing estate with 18 concrete blocks. When it welcomed its first low-income residents in 1967, the area was a remote backwater. Now with land scarce and housing in short supply, Wah Fu faces what some consider to be long-overdue revelopment. Still, many residents will miss the old days and the ties that bind in this old Hong Kong community.

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What they say about Varsity

For 25 years, we have been trying to tell Hong Kong stories that matter. Here is what some of our readers and fellow storytellers...

The Early Days of Varsity Magazine: Remembrances

In 1991, Bryce McIntyre left rural Oregon in the United States for a job at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was tasked with setting up an English language news practicum. Here, he tells us how his original idea for a student-produced English tabloid newspaper, published four days a week, was rejected and how Varsity magazine was born instead.

Greetings from Cambridge

Cindy Gu was an editor in the 2016 Fall Board. Her reporting for Varsity led to an interest in gender issues and she is now for an M.Phil in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.